Rahm vs. Dean on healthcare reform: Rahm Emanuel has always favored weaker legislation, with no public option, or a trigger that, in practice, would achieve the same effect as no public option. Howard Dean, on the other hand, favors real healthcare reform with a robust public option. Howard Dean is not alone. Survey after survey shows that 3/4 of Americans would prefer to be able to choose between a private insurer and a government-run plan like Medicare.
Why is Rahm so eager to bargain away something that the overwhelming majority of Americans want? Because in the Rahm-iverse, we should only try to achieve what’s realistic (“realistic,” in this case, being anything that doesn’t step on the toes of insurance company CEOs).
What I want to know, Rahm, is whatever happened to hope and change? Howard Dean hasn’t forgotten that the American people voted a commanding majority of Democrats into Congress and elected a Democratic president. We did that because we want real reform. And if our elected officials actually voted what their constituents actually wanted, then that reform would become the new “realistic.”
It’s the 50-state strategy all over again: Howard Dean was right and Rahm Emanuel was wrong.
Here’s Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, for The Huffington Post:
Now, we’re in the second round. This time it’s the health care debate. Rahm Emanuel has been pushing for a weaker version of reform from the beginning. In his defense, he believes he is focusing on what is doable (nearly the same thing he said during the previous House elections). Emanuel has argued for a trigger from the beginning of the debate and seems to think that a public option is not realistic in this political environment.
Howard Dean has instead argued for a stronger version of health care reform. He believes the country is persuadable (the same position he had in the House elections) and is largely on the side of bolder reform already. He believes the Democratic politicians need to have the courage of their convictions and they can make a real difference.
Once again, Howard Dean is right and Rahm Emanuel is wrong. The voters didn’t vote for a little bit of change. They gave the Democrats the White House and overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate. They voted for real change. The kind of change that Dean always pushes for (and often accomplishes) and the kind of change that Emanuel doesn’t ever find “realistic.”