8.16.2009

Dean: "There Will Be Primaries" For Dems Who Vote Against Public Option

Howard Dean believes that there will be a public option in whatever health care bill comes to the president's desk, but if this isn't, Democrats better be prepared to get primaried (via Sam Stein).

On Primaries for Dems who vote against a strong Public Option:

Former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean fired one of the clearest warning shots at hesitant Democratic lawmakers on Thursday, insisting that if the party was unable to produce a health care bill with a public plan, there would be electoral consequences.

"I do think there will be primaries as the result of all this, if the bill doesn't pass with a public option," Dean said, in a phone interview with the Huffington Post.

On the sacam of Co-Ops:

"This talk about co-ops is a political compromise it is not a policy compromise," he said, of the discussions currently underway in the Senate Finance Committee. "And I think most people, on both sides of the aisle know that co-ops won't work."

On Clintonian just-get-any-win-on-the-books scholar, Paul Begala:

Asked about a column by long-time Democratic strategist Paul Begala, urging progressives not to shy away from tackling health care in a more incremental approach, Dean shot back: "The public option is incrementalism.... But there is no incrementalism without the public option." He explained: "If you don't have a public option this bill is not even incremental, in terms of adequate health care reform... Paul is not entirely wrong. It is just that the last shred of reform is the public option."
On Chuck Grassley & his fellow obstructionist brethren:

Dean was more willing to weigh in on the eruption of town hall protests and spreading of disinformation about the president's health care agenda by conservative media figures and lawmakers. He said he was "disappointed" in Sen. Chuck Grassley, (R-Iowa) - one of the chief Republican negotiators on the Senate Finance Committee - for perpetuating the patently false rumor that Obama was setting up death panels that would "pull the plug on grandma."

For Dean, those remarks only confirmed a long obvious reality. "I think the Republicans have no interest and they have never had an interest in a bill," he said. "[Sen.] Jim DeMint, (R-S.C.), spoke for the Republican Party when he said what we want is to make this Obama's Waterloo. It is exactly what they did 15 years ago. They don't have an interest in the bill because they believe they can hurt Obama. They have basically put their party ahead of the country."

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