Maybe one reason former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and so much of the digital Left can so casually dismiss the Senate health care reform bill is that they operate in an environment where so few people need to worry about access to insurance.
The 2004 presidential campaign that propelled Dean to national prominence was fueled predominantly by "wine track" Democratic activists-generally college-educated white liberals. (In the virtually all-white 2004 Iowa caucus, for instance, exit polls showed that two-thirds of Dean's votes came from voters with a college degree.) Those are the same folks, all evidence suggests, who provide the core support for online activist groups like MoveOn.org or Dean's Democracy for America and congregate most enthusiastically on liberal websites. (According to studies by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, college graduates are more than twice as likely as those with only a high-school degree to communicate about politics online.) Along with Dean, those digital Democratic activists are generating the loudest demands to derail the Senate bill.
Some individuals in these overlapping political networks undoubtedly face challenges with access to health care, but as a group college-educated whites are much less likely than any other segment of the population to lack health insurance.
The latest annual Census Bureau figures show that in 2008 just 5.96 percent of college-educated whites lacked health insurance. For whites without a college education, the share without insurance jumps to 14.5 percent (the number is surely higher for non-college whites who are not union members). Among African-Americans, the share of those without insurance rises to 19.1 percent. Among Hispanics, the share of those without insurance soars to a daunting 30.7 percent, the Census found.