Dean’s Comeback or Healthcare Reform Slowdown?
Former DNC Chair Howard Dean found himself in a bizarre predicament at the end of the illustrious 2008 election cycle: on one hand he was credited with the re-emergence of Democrats in the 2006 mid-terms and the election of Barack Obama in ’08 – yet, on the other hand, he appeared (at least on the surface) to get little props from the new Administration when time arrived for recognition and reward. He’s been in a sort of weird purgatory between being celebrated and being dissed.
However, recent reports suggest Dean is staging some sort of comeback. Reports The Plum Line blog in WhoRunsGov.com:
The campaign will be called “Stand With Dr. Dean,” and its immediate goal is to build up a membership of a quarter million in the next few months, relying on the million-strong email list of Democracy for America, Dean’s political operation. The eventual goal is to organize and door-knock to build support for the public insurance option in Congressional districts across the country, DFA executive director Arshad Hasan tells me.
Is this good news for healthcare reform or Howard Dean? Dean may be more interested in staging his own comeback at this point – and it could be that he’s privately vexed that he wasn’t plucked for anything. This could be a way to make that happen. Interestingly enough, this also comes at a time when there are whispers on Capitol Hill that healthcare reform efforts may, once again, fall to the wayside if nothing is done in rapid fashion this year. The popular political counter to movement on healthcare reform is that the President is doing too much, too fast. Which may usher in a leveled conversation on piecemeal approaches focused on greater efficiency in health records management through massive and centralized IT solutions. Political gut points to some desire from the corporate community to, at least, pilot an alternative health care system as a way to reduce overhead. The economic downturn will encourage the business community to produce at leaner capacity – that means less private spending on health care when the government is showing an itch to spend instead.