Via Jezebel, I discovered that Howard Dean has a new book coming out, and Esquire is sufficiently Unserious as to give him a forum for his Crazy Talk(tm):
ESQ: It seems pretty obvious. They save money. So why are businesses so completely resistant to this?
HD: They’re not. Some businesses — and the Chamber of Commerce — are resistant because they’re ideological. They are part of the right wing. Then there are lots of businesses that aren’t particularly ideological but genuinely believe that if they keep doing the same thing, they’ll somehow get a different outcome. That’s human nature. They think they can manage health-care costs even though it’s been 40 years since any of them ever have. That’s why I think Obama’s plan is so great: If you like what you have, you can keep it.
ESQ: Speaking of the Obama plan, you’re even stronger than he has been lately in support of the public plan. You say that without it, it’s not reform.
HD: It’s not. It’s a waste of time. Don’t pretend you’re going to do health-insurance reform unless you’re really going to change the system. The discussions in the Senate have not been about changing the system.
ESQ: They seem to be worried about preserving the status quo.
HD: Washington is the most conservative town in America. Its culture is the most resistant to change except a few religious cults.
HD: It’s true! It’s absolutely true.
ESQ: You say that the public plan shouldn’t be able to dip into general government reserves to subsidize its operations. But the Republicans say it will.
HD: The Republicans just make things up out of whole cloth. Nothing they say about health care is true. It’s all just nonsense and fears and what-ifs. It doesn’t happen. First of all, Medicare doesn’t dip into government reserves. It has never happened. It might happen in 10 years if they don’t cut benefits or raise taxes, but so far, never in the history of America has a program like Medicare used public reserves. The Republican tactic is to raise objections because they never have anything positive to say themselves.
ESQ: In the book you ask, “Is health insurance really health insurance or an extension of the things that have been happening on Wall Street?”
HD: Think about it. What the big insurance companies have done is deny claims just so they can improve their bottom line. That’s just extraordinary.
Thank the uncaring heavens that our Serious Mainstream Media carefully protects itself, and by extension its readers, from contact with such looney talk as this! (/snark)
I’m looking forward to getting my hands on Howard Dean’s Prescription for Real Health Care Reform, probably from the same dead-tree purveyors that provide my most current sources of economic and political instruction. The fact that so many of these sources were designed to as outlets for pop-music huckstering (Matt Taibbi), celebrity pictures (Todd Purdom), or the softest of softcore pornorgraphy is undoubtably some fault in my own character, and not a reflection on Our Serious Media
Village Idiots Outlets.
Its culture is the most resistant to change except a few religious cults.
Poor Howard. He’ll never be invited to dine with Washington Post reporters now.
Uh, Walmart just came out in support of the plan.
I love Howard Dean. I’m glad he doesn’t hold any public office right now. That way he doesn’t have to (potentially) pander to any set of voters. He can shoot with both guns blazing without soft-peddling anything.
America is lucky that he’s willing to take on this fight. We need all the help we can get to win the Public Option in the healthcare debate. Without it, we will not have the reform that was promised and that we absolutely need.
Actually, that great foreteller Stephen King said as much decades ago. See the end of: Firestarter (the book, not the movie).
Godamn, I wish the democrats hadn’t got spooked in 2004 and nominated this man instead of Kerry. He may not have won but he wouldn’t have had a spine made of jelly. He would have taken Bush apart in every debate.
@BDeevDad: The suspicion is that they traded this support for promises to block EFCA. EFCA can wait. Getting Walmart’s corporate nuts in that particular vice can wait a few months.
Actually, if a good public plan goes through, much of the drive for unionizing Walmart could be dissipated. But I doubt Walmart has the enlightened self interest to appreciate that, so lets get those nuts in a vice just out of principle, OK?
@Nicole: I read Firestarter during the first Reagan administration. Please fill me in because I have no idea what you are talking about.
@Xenos: They also expect significant cost savings forced on insurers in exchange for employer mandates.
@Xenos: At the very end of Firestarter, the little kid (Charley?) goes to tell her story, but rather than going to the NYTimes or the Post or wherever, she goes to Rolling Stone. The implication being that the mainstream media would not print the truth about what happened to her. I read the book maybe 10 years ago, and for whatever reason, that’s the part that stuck with me. When the movie was made it was changed so that she went to the NYTimes, which was quite lame, totally opposite of the point King was trying to make about gov’t and the media, but also, frankly, the least of that piece of boring crap’s problems.
(Yes, I like scary movies. Which is not to say I don’t think most of them are crap.)
Why should I believe anything Crazy Howie Dean says
He lied boldly on Meet the Press pulling a figure out of his rear.
Dean:You know that abortions have gone up 25 percent since George Bush was President
Washington… conservative? Me sorry, me stupider just got sentence reading.
Yawn. Better trolls, please. Dean didn’t pull the number “out of his rear”; he took it from a study later proved to be faulty. Taking bad information as true is not the same as making things up. It’s not good, but it’s not the same thing.
Though I think you might have left the question mark required of your first sentence in your own rear?
Yay! Vaguely health themed post for to post these two links to make you weep or rage, both from ProgressiveFox.com and Atrios (same author):
How my Hairstylist got me fired: The story of how, if you get sick enough, your company needs to fire you to save itself.
The difference between corporate and state care: What happens when the cash bottom line is the ultimate decider.
@Paul L.: Paul you are quite free to not believe Howard Dean.
You are excused and free to go back to your kingdom of idiots and continue your four year scowl.
Another problem is that most people do not understand their own insurance coverage let alone what a public option would mean. Things the public would need to learn include what they and their employers are paying for, the differences between PPOs and HMOs, where the money goes, the percentages hospitals overcharge, the actual costs to the insurance companies, what out of network means and how the term is abused, what’s a deductible, copay, out of pocket maximum, etc.
Had to post this. Evidently, health issues are due to inter-species relationships.
Ho. Lee. Shit. Thanks for those links. “Health care” (scare quotes completely merited) is beyond screwed up in this country. By the way, here is the corrected link for the “how my hairdresser lost me my insurance” entry.
I think the interspecies relationships threatening our health system are the ones between the heartless, soulless, sucking voids of compassion running it and the humans at its mercy.
@DecidedFenceSitter: I hate to say “thank you” for linking to posts that made me weep, but — I’m glad you posted these links. No matter how bad we think the American insurance industry is, it’s difficult for any one individual to grasp that it’s even worse than our ‘sensible’ fears allow us to believe.
Read the last part of the quote
Why didn’t the DNC say that Dean got it from the flawed study when called about it? Guess they could not explain that the flawed study predicted a 4 percent increase not 25 percent. Dean got that number from his rear.
No wonder Howard “the duck” never always ducked debating the RNC chairman on news shows when he was DNC chairman.
And the lie was repeated by Obama at Saddleback.
@DecidedFenceSitter: I can’t say I am scandalized by the story at Progressive Fox. It is a sad story, certainly, but not scandalous.
The medical insurance system is operating exactly as it is supposed to. Mediocre coverage, on a limited basis, with about 25% of the safety net that we need. It is an incredibly stupid system for providing health coverage, but that much is immediately obvious if one compares what we have to every other industrialized and successful modern country.
The fact that we have not overthrown our corporate masters in order to secure a functioning system – that, indeed, is scandalous.
It is such a tragedy that Howard Dean got drummed out of American politics because he made a weird sound. How stupid is that? He is smart and sensible and says what he believes is the truth.
That’s not why he got drummed out. That’s the mechanism they used to drum him out. He threatened The Way Things Are Done and when he was weak that was a way to further marginalize him.
@Paul L.: Then who is “Stassen,” mentioned in the part you quoted in both your posts, Paul L, the part you tell me to read? Why, could Stassen be the man who did the flawed piece from which Howard Dean got the 25 percent statistic? Why yes, it could! And how could I know that? Because I took 5 minutes to go to factcheck.org to read the full story, rather than rely on Paul L? Why yes, indeedy!
I’m sorry you were unable to read the entire article, Paul L, but I can see how concentrating that long would make your wee head hurt. To summarize for you- the stat was pulled from a faulty study made by a very pro-life guy, who was rather bummed to find out abortions had gone up under Bush (so he thought). Later, the Guttmacher institute (a pro-choice institute), doing a more complete study, determined that abortions had not gone up, though the rate of decline had definitely slowed under Bush. Said pro-life guy acknowledged the superiority of the Guttmacher study to what he’d done. The end.
For the Balloon Juicers who can focus for longer than Paul L, here’s the link to the factcheck story. It was very interesting reading, and brought to mind that quote attributed to Mark Twain.
Biography of a Bad Statistic
@Svensker: He didn’t get drummed out entirely at that point, just out of a visible position. Dean did a great job as the head of the DNC. However, the Obama team gave him the cold shoulder twice, so now is he is working from the outside again.
Firestarter the book is actually a really good read. I avoided the movie.
...now I try to be amused
“The fact that so many of these sources were designed to as outlets for pop-music huckstering (Matt Taibbi), celebrity pictures (Todd Purdom), or the softest of softcore pornography is undoubtedly some fault in my own character, and not a reflection on Our Serious Media Village Idiots Outlets.”
Don’t forget fake news! The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, heck, even The Onion. (“Bush: ‘Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity is Over.'”)
Why the hate for Taibbi? He’s one of the only “reporters” uncovering the financial industry ripoff.
He also ripped Hagee and the Fundies and he’s going after health care next.
Is my snark detector broken? Or are you just saying that Rolling Stone is basically awful accept for Taibbi? Cuz that dude rocks.
Bootlegger, I’m reading that as credit to Taibbi…
The only solid reporting and analysis is being done in a music mag (Rolling Stone) a high society mag (Vanity Fair) and soft, softcore porn mag (Esquire).
Obviously WaPo or NYT wouldn’t know what to do with a guy like Taibbi.
@ Paul L.
Are we to believe that Dean’s latest dose of intelligent thought is to be rejected because he was wrong on some damn abortions figures in a political campaign some years ago?
I get an awful lot right in life, but I can cite chapter and verse the things I have gotten wrong. We ALL blow it. What makes Dean an interesting guy is that he obviously knows the difference between ideas that work and those that do not. Good. Classically Defined. American. Pragmatism. What small minds consider inconsistency is in the hands of the wise, the process of continuous improvement. A True Son of the Enlightenment, Dean walks up the learning curve.
You know, the trouble with you abortion nuts is that you think that because you are sufficiently uptight about sex, you are ethical. Truth is, if your ethics begin and end with the subject of sex, you are an ethical teenager. Grow up! Turning sick people into prey–the very definition of for-profit medicine–is morally sick. It is bankrupting the economy. It is destroying people’s lives. Now you may find it charming to obsess over the abortion issue because it somehow makes you feel ethically superior, but if you cannot see the evil of for-profit medicine and the need to end it, you are morally quite retarded.
The Portable Matt Taibbi:
1. Remember the guy who was killed with polonium-210? Everyone Putin ever met had a reason to do it, either to help him or hurt him. Check out these mutually exclusive hypotheses, chock full of scarily obscure minor politicians and New Russian bandits. Ph34r mah skillz!
2. Did you know that every reporter in Russia that publishes anything of substance against the government gets whacked in an absurdly “encourage the others” fashion? Here’s a dozen examples off the top of my head. Is it, um, is it paranoid if it’s ACTUALLY happening over and over?
3. Goldman Sachs IS the NYSE, the Fed, the Beast from the Sea, Cthulu, the Bilder-Mason-Council, and the Legion of Doom, and well into their second decade running the Treasury like a chop shop. Look at these facts and figures. Again, look at these names turning up again and again. Good thing I don’t own a small plane, eh?
4. 911 Truthers are dumb as paint. Everyone knows JP6 combines with steel to burn reinforced concrete at 3000C — you’re all idiots, turn off his mic. Why do people have to ask awkward questions? Let me borrow Gore Vidal’s elemental disdain for the American hive mind, just long enough to do these interviews.
One of these hobby-horses is not like the others. Actually I’ve followed him since the Moscow Times (the man is living proof brain cells grow back), and I kid because I love, he’s rock solid. But the 911 Truther pushbutton on the middle of his forehead is bizarre.
And it describes most of the right flank of the country. At least the ones who talk and write.
Conservatives, meddlers, bible thumpers, GTFU already. And if I left anyone out you too.