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Howard Dean: "Were getting pretty mixed signals from Senator Grassley"

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:25 AM
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CQ Transcript: Health Care Focus for Sens. Grassley and Conrad on CBS Face The Nation:


SCHIEFFER: And with us now from Burlington, Vermont, the former governor of that state, Howard Dean, who is also the former head of the Democratic National Committee, and, in case you forgot, a medical doctor. Though he doesnt practice anymore, his wife still does.

Governor, thank you for coming this morning. Lets go right in onto start with this public option. You have said -- you just heard what the two senators said, but you have said that health care reform without this so-called public option is no reformat all. It would be worthless. Why so?

DEAN: Its true. And what I see, the co-ops proposal -- and Kent Conrad is somebody I consider a great friend and a great senator, but that proposal is a political compromise, not a policy compromise, nobody knows what it would look like, and when it has been tried in the past, it mostly hasnt worked.

There is one successful -- one or two successful examples of it, but they dont have market strength. The last time we tried it, it was Blue Cross, they have now been eaten up by the private health insurance industry.

So this is a proposal thats great in the Senate when youre talking about bipartisanship, but there is nothing to it, I dont think.

But here is what the public insurance option does, it looks like Medicare or something like it. There will be some changes. But the reason people need that choice is because right now, public -- excuse me, private health insurance industry, for-profit, is incredibly inefficient.

DEAN: Not because the private sector is by nature inefficient, but because they are investor-owned, and a huge proportion of the money they take in has to go to a return on equity. That is all money thats not spent on health care.

So lets just suppose youre one of the big health care companies, and at the very best youre going to have about an 80 percent payout ratio. That means that 20 percent of all the money you take in goes to some cause other than health care.

In Medicare, 96 percent of all the money you take in goes to health care. It is by nature much more efficient. It doesnt kick you off if you get sick. It doesnt stop you from getting insurance if you get sick. You dont lose it if you lose your job. You can get it back -- I mean, you dont have to worry about getting it back if you get your job, and you can move anywhere in America and still have the health insurance. That is a choice that I think most Americans would welcome. Everybody over 65 has it. And the question is, why dont we open that program up to people under 65?


SCHIEFFER: You just heard both Senator Grassley and -- Senator Conrad didnt say this, but I think it was interesting in that he really didnt address it -- Senator Grassley says hes getting mixed signals from the White House on exactly what the president wants here. Do you think the president has to get more specific if hes going to get this passed?

DEAN: Well, let me just be fair about this. Were getting pretty mixed signals from Senator Grassley. I did not hear one time Senator Grassley say what he would vote for. There is a lot of talk about bipartisanship, but when he was in Iowa, all last week he was basically letting people know that he didnt think he could vote for any bill that couldnt get the support of his Republican caucus and Republican leadership, and that clearly has not been forthcoming. So I think we can discuss what the presidents messages be, but I think the Republicans owe it to this country to give us a much clearer message about what they will support and what they wont support.


(emphasis added)

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Metta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:31 AM
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1. Pretty mixed?!! Grassley knowingly and deliberately lied to the country just to grease the profits
of his handlers. He's not about support. He's about obstruction, violence and our continued suffering. The amount of suffering he inherits from his actions is incalculable.
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johnaries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:34 AM
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2. With all due respect Dr. Dean, they have been pretty clear.
They will not vote for ANYTHING. They all want the Dems to fail.

That being said, I think it was important to at least try to come up with a "bi-partisan" bill. But it's obvious that is not possible. The Repukes have made that clear enough.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. well that is what Dr. Dean was saying, he was just being polite.
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:37 AM
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3. What seems incredibly "mixed" is his own party's message
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:42 AM
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4. All this bipartisanship crap from Obama, from Grassley from Baucus, from
Snowe, it's all a bunch of crap.

The country elected Democrats to fix the problem but they keep telling us that they need the Repos to do it. That''s crap. Sen. Grassley we won and you lost. You can lead follow or get out of the way, but you don't get to stand in the way. That's crap.

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