Howard Dean: Kill Lierberman Bill, Stick a Fork in It (Video)

December 16, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean appeared on MSNBC’s Keith Olberman’s show Tuesday night, after Sen. Leiberman’s (I-CT) treachery turned the health care reform bill on its head, saying Democrats should just kill the bill and start over. Dean strongly advocated that the Democrats trash the weak Lieberman health reform bill and begin the process of reconciliation, to enact some of the better reform measures by piecemeal. It was quite a shocking statement coming from a respected voice in the Democratic party, as well as a medical doctor. “This is not real reform. it’s not health care reform,” said Dean. But Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) dismissed the idea of killing the bill, referring to the present health care reform measures, as a “great foundation.” But one couldn’t help noticing the disappointment in the liberal Senator’s voice, as he spoke to Rachel Maddow last night.

Are you happy now Holy Joe? It’s not about the American people, it’s all about Joe, as it’s always been.

Howard Dean acknowledged that there were some good measures in the Senate’s health care bill, but that it didn’t reach the level of real health care reform:

“This is not real reform. It’s not health care reform. There are no choices…The decision has been made to commit the United States to health reform through the private sector… In the previous bills the medicare buy-in the public option, had the the choice of a mixture giving Americans the opportunity to make their own choices. Those choices have been taken away by the pro insurance folks in the Senate… If it were me I would kill the bill entirely and have the house start reconciliation…”

Dean was appalled at the fact that four conservative senators could stop true health care reform, when a majority of the Democrats support it. He also noted how the unprecedented obstructionism of the minority party contributed to the breakdown of the legislative process in the senate:

“To be held up by four senators, a minority of 40 who are totally uncooperative, which is the Republicans, and then four senators beholden to the insurance industry, I think is wrong but that’s what happened”

Is Dean right? A contingent of progressive voices, including Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga from Daily Kos agree with Dean, but others view killing the bill as political suicide. It’s unlikely that Democrats would come so close again in passing an overhaul of our nation’s broken health care system, however flawed the current bill is.

As pointed out by Steve Benen of Washington Monthly’s the Political Animal, “When reform bills go down, health care tends to be too hot to touch for about 20 years. And when the issue is brought back, it’s less ambitious than the previous effort.”

And the current bill is vastly more progressive than a proposal circulated by Dean in 2004: “What’s more, let’s not forget that the existing Senate Democratic plan — with no public option and no Medicare buy-in — is already far more ambitious and much more progressive than what Howard Dean was proposing just five years ago.”

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) appeared on MSNBC Wednesday morning acknowledging that the current bill may be “…better than nothing.”

Lieberman will be dealt with in 2012, but for now it seems, senate lawmakers are forced to put up with his treachery. Besides health care reform, Lieberman’s vote would also be needed on other measures to pass legislation through the dysfunctional senate. With Republican obstructionism, and filibustering at record levels, a super-majority of 60 votes is required to get the most mundane bills to the floor for debate. And Lieberman, an Independent caucusing with the Democrats knows the power his 60th vote holds. And to his everlasting shame, the spiteful egotistical little man is holding the Democrats and President Obama’s agenda hostage to his whims.

So, for now Democrats are forced to hold their noses while they vote for the present health care reform bill, if 60 votes can be secured, with the hopes of expanding and improving health care reform in the years to come.

Watch Dean:

Photo Source: Chronicle/Penni Glastone


4 Responses to “Howard Dean: Kill Lierberman Bill, Stick a Fork in It (Video)”

  1. Fury Towards Lieberman Boils Over: ‘He is Playing us for Chumps’ | ChattahBox News Blog on December 16th, 2009 3:53 pm

    […] liberal anger towards Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is starting to boil over into blind rage. And it’s no wonder, after the odious lawmaker betrayed his Democratic caucus members and then […]

  2. Old Man Dotes on December 16th, 2009 5:32 pm

    How about just, “Howard Dean: Kill Lierberman.” And someone do it.

  3. Axelrod Blasts Nelson’s Hypocritical Threat to Filibuster Health Care Bill | ChattahBox News Blog on December 18th, 2009 12:09 pm

    […] And the traitorous Lieberman has not been criticized by the White House, while officials attacked Howard Dean’s call to kill the bill and use the process of reconciliation, as […]

  4. Poll: EVERYONE in CT Hates Joe Lieberman | ChattahBox News Blog on January 8th, 2010 2:18 pm

    […] of all Connecticut residents disapprove of Lieberman. Holy Joe’s recent antics of dealing in bad faith with the Democratic Caucus, as he held health care reform hostage and threatened to kill the bill, […]

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