Nurse Ratched’s Place is a blog dedicated to telling stories from the tumultuous care-giving side of the healthcare world. Blogger Mother Jones recently attended a Howard Dean event and was unable to get close enough to the former Governor, and author of Howard Dean’s Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform: How We Can Achieve Affordable Medical Care for Every American and Make Our Jobs Safer, to ask him a question. Not to be put off, Mother Jones contacted Dr. Dean via email and put the question to him digitally. Not only did Dr. Dean answer, he agreed to do a full interview! Whatta guy!
Here’s a quick excerpt. For the full interview, please visit Nurse Ratched’s Place.
Mother Jones: What is your take on the state of our healthcare system? What do you envision for our system, and how do we get there from here? Can America really afford a public option plan?
Howard Dean: Our system is in disarray. We need a system in which the American consumer has real choices, including allowing people under 65 to sign up for Medicare, which is what the public option will look like. That way people can get affordable insurance which can never be taken away, which can’t be denied, and which will follow them through every job, every loss of job, and every move. We can’t afford NOT to have a public option.
MJ: How flexible is the public option: will a person be able to move between the public option and private options as their needs and circumstances change?
HD: People will be able to move back and forth between the public option and private insurance plans as they see fit, up to once a year.
MJ: Given your unique perspective as a physician, can you tell us one aspect of the public option that you like and one aspect that you might not be happy with?
HD: As a physician I would sign up for the public option at once if it is cheaper than what I have now. I would definitely sign my twenty something kids up; it would give them insurance for life at a reasonable cost no matter what they were doing and where they were living.