Howard Dean spoke with Rep. James Moran (D-VA) at a health care town hall in Reston, VA, and C-Span’s cameras were there to capture it.
Thousands of people descended on the town hall—protestors from both sides of the debate (those who want to fix health care, and those who don’t). Many of the protestors got loud and raucous, alternately jeering and applauding the former Governor. Dean was able to articulate his vision for health care reform without getting rattled by some of the uglier chants, and in the end he may have changed some minds and brought the issue into greater focus. (But who can say with the Fox-news, kill-granny, death-panels, don’t-socialize-my-social-security crowd?)
Look, change is hard. The reason that the Europeans have the system they have is because basically their health care system was destroyed during World War II, and it was put back together…by the government. The system in Britain was actually put in by one of the most conservative Prime Ministers in Britain’s history, Winston Churchill. And the reason was that when the system was destroyed in the bombings, they commandeered all the hospitals and put them all together to try to get people through the war, and they did. And so they started from a different place. We started from an employer-based system…
It is hard to change. A lot of this debate is about change. And the one thing that any doctor can tell you about change is that you never make real changes until the pain of staying the same exceeds the fear of change. And I think the pain of staying the same has exceeded the fear of change.