Howard Dean Says Kill the Bill, Inspiring Liberal Tide

One of health care reform's biggest proponents convinces many we're better off without this bill

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Howard Dean, former Democratic presidential candidate, DNC chair and governor of Vermont, is one of his party's biggest proponents for health care reform. So when he declared Tuesday that the bill under consideration wasn't good enough to pass and should be killed, it turned a lot of heads. Dean worries that, now stripped of a public option, the legislation doesn't achieve "real reform." Among liberals, the reaction has been split. Some agree with Dean that a bill without the Medicare buy-in doesn't deserve progressives' support, while others insist that the reform bill is still worthwhile. Read the liberal arguments for passing health care reform without a public option here. But here's the rising tide of liberals who echo the slogan: Kill the bill. Dean on Tuesday night's Countdown on MSNBC:

  • Worse Than Nothing Activist and FireDogLake chief Jane Hamsher declares, "From what we know about the bill, it is worse than passing nothing." She writes, "The cost curve gets 'bent' by making the insurance you have through your employer worse. Remember Harry and Louise? They killed health care reform during the Clinton administration by making this claim. Well, now it's actually going to be true."
  • Would Be 'National Disaster' Open Left's Darcy Burner makes the case. "The first rule of medicine is, 'Do no harm.' The post-Joe Lieberman version of the Senate healthcare bill fails that basic criterion. Unless Democratic leadership steps up to fix this misguided proposal, our only recourse will be to kill it." She writes, "The Senate bill is a recipe for national disaster. If it's that bill or nothing, I prefer nothing."
  • Kill The Mandate Daily Kos chief Markos Moulitsas tweets, "Insurance companies win. Time to kill this monstrosity coming out of the Senate. My position on HCR -- kill it if it includes mandate. Strip out the mandate, then what's left is inoffensive. Not reform, but inoffensive. Wait, ppl in the 'pass this piece of shit #HCR bill' camp really think this'll help Dems win in 2010? Mandate will be electoral death. Yeay, Big Pharma wins battle in Senate! The rest of us get screwed."
  • Try For Reconciliation TalkLeft's Big Tent Democrat advocates the rarely-used parliamentary procedure that would allow Democrats to vote on legislation piece-by-piece without the risk of a Republican filibuster. "[G]o to reconciliation. If it can be done, I'm all for it. I think it is as likely as Wyden/Bennett or single payer at this point."
  • Will Be Bad For Women Aggrieved liberal Taylor Marsh says of Dean's advice, "He's right." She explains, "With days dwindling and Obama finally deciding it's now or never, can there be any doubt that women will be the ones to lose out?"
  • Political Necessity For Dems FireDogLake's Gregg Levine writes, "I say: Kill the bill. I say this with a heavy heart. Failure to pass health care legislation, even terrible legislation, will be a great loss for the Obama administration and for Democrats in Congress. But passing a bill as bad as the Senate's eventual endpoint could be a bigger defeat for the Democratic majority we really want--one that takes progressive action on behalf of the voters."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.