I have been been a fan of Howard Dean since he ran for President in the 2004 race. He would have been a better candidate than John Kerry. He had good ideas. Unlike Kerry, he spoke his mind, which may have been what killed his campaign. Since he’s a doctor, he’s seen he’s seen this country’s healthcare system close up.
When he says the lobbyists and special interests, working through the last must-have votes in the Senate like Joe Lieberman, have made this bill worthless, or even making the healthcare system worse rather than better, I believe him.
It’s time to put a public option or Medicare expansion option back in. If the bill won’t get 60 votes, get 60 votes to bring cloture and cut off a Republican filibuster. Then go for a vote that only requires a majority of 51 Senators.
If such a plan fails, and the Senate passes something that it total garbage like the present bill, hopefully, they will be forced to revisit the issue and clean up healthcare in the coming years. But the Medicare Part D legislation, creating the doughnut hole that funnels money to the pharmaceutical industry while benefiting few people who can figure out the arcane rules, is not a good precedent. It is speeding the bankruptcy of the US, providing nothing like the benefits that it should for such huge costs.