This video is so stunning that I am embarrassed I didn't notice it until now.
Howard Dean admitted that the reason that there's no tort reform in the bill was that those writing it didn't want to take on the trial lawyers. Dean tried to make it seem as though this bill is so transformative that lot's of enemies were coming out of the woodwork and this was one too many.
That's just not the truth. In fact, Obama immediately stacked the drug companies, the insurance companies, AARP, and the AMA with him. Most special interest groups were bought off. The trial lawyers couldn't be bought off because personal injury lawyers simply make far too much money in the current system. They can't be bribed because bribing them would cost way too much.
Of course, the admission of the cynical nature of the oversight of tort reform is yet more evidence that the president's words are just words. He claims to want to reduce costs, but then won't attack tort reform not because that would reduce costs, but because politics says that he can't or won't.
So, what are we to make of a piece of legislation in which the proponents readily admit has been crafted based on which interest groups they can and can't take on? Are we supposed to believe that such a bill would actually work? Howard Dean just proved, for all that still weren't sure, that this bill wasn't put together in order to address public policy. Instead, it was put together strictly on the basis of political reality. It's not exactly political reality. It's the political reality of those that crafted it. After all, had the crafters crafted a bill that strictly dealt with tort reform, we would have a bill that would drop health care costs and it wouldn't create too many enemies. There'd be only one enemy, trial lawyers, and no one but the lawyers themselves like these lawyers.
With each such event, I continue to say that this would be the final nail in the coffin, but that's already happened. What this exchange showed is just what an enlightening experience these mass of town halls have been. Such an admission would not have occurred in a prepared speech. It wouldn't have occurred in a town hall where only supporters had attended. It occurred because Dean and his compatriot Rep Jim Moran were constantly put on the defensive. It's exactly such an environment when a politician let's their guard down and admits something very revealing and important. It's exactly what happened here. This video is now a very important addition to the health care debate.
Please check out my new books, "Bullied to Death: Chris Mackney's Kafkaesque Divorce and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the World's Last Custody Trial"