September 17, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Campaign calls on Congress to pass reform
including a public option using majority votes.
VTDemocracy for America and its founder, Gov.
Howard Dean, launched a new campaign today calling on Congress to pass real
reform with majority votes.
The campaign, called America Can't Wait,
focuses on the strong Congressional and grassroots support that exists for a
"At least 218 House and 51 Senate
Democrats have said they would vote for the final healthcare bill if it
included the choice of a public option rather than vote against the bill and
kill reform," said Dean, a lead advocate for a public option. "Thats
means Congress has the majority votes needed to pass a public option
Members of the House and Senate who have said
they will vote yes can be found at www.americacantwait.com.
A robust healthcare reform plan, including the
choice of a public option, can be passed in a budget bill by a majority vote in
the U.S. Senate, instead of the 60 vote-minimum that some think is necessary. Numerous
budget scholars and experts on Senate procedure agree, says Dean.
Stan Collender, a contributing editor at the National Journal, contributing writer
for Roll Call, and author of The
Guide to the Federal Budget, is an expert and frequent speaker on the budget.
Reconciliation has become such a standard part of the budget process that
using it for health care would be neither surprising nor
precedent-setting," he said in a Roll
The Senate has passed numerous major reforms,
including the Bush tax cuts and funding for the Iraq War, using reconciliationmore
than 25 times in history.
Democracy for America Chair Jim Dean
underscores the grassroots support for a public option.
The majority of Americans want healthcare
reform with the choice of a public option that keeps insurance companies
honest, lowers costs and increases service, Jim Dean said. Our members are
joining with President Obama in calling on Congress to get the job done."
Last week, CBS News released a poll that
showed support for a public option has increased since the Presidents speech
to Congress. And in a CNN national poll, two out of three Americans who watched
Obama's health care reform speech now favor his health care plans, a 14-point
"Now is the season for action. The majority
of Americans want it, and majority votes in Congress will pass it," said
June 10, 2009
By Joe Frandino Last night, Gov. Howard
Dean held a national live online chat with grassroots
activists from across the country. Those who logged into the Stand with Dr. Dean website ("http://www.standwithdrdean.com") were able to submit their questions electronically to Gov. Dean. The online chat was a big success, with more than 2,500 questions
being submitted and more than 2,000 people taking part in the chat. To list a few of the excellent questions posed to Gov. Dean last night: Does the public health care solution cover those who cannot pay at all? DEAN: Yes, premiums would be income based. The
money and lobbying staff of drug and insurance companies are huge. What
makes you think we can effectively counter that? DEAN: Real change always comes from the grassroots, but its hard
work and that's why you are so important. You can write letters to the
editor, contact members of Congress, sign the petition at standwithdrdean.com and make it clear that you want real change in healthcare or that you'll work very hard for change in Congress. What [are you] doing to spread the need for a public healthcare alternative to the non-believers? DEAN:
I've been spending a lot of time on the road doing town hall meetings
to make sure people know what's at stake and have been explaining this
on television, radio and in print. I also wrote a book, Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare
Reform. What would be the incentive for people to move from employer-based healthcare to this new program? DEAN:
It's cheaper, comprehensive, and it travels with the individual
wherever they live, no matter who they are employed by, and even if
they are unemployed.
Do you think private insurance companies would really be able to compete with the public option? DEAN:
They will be if they behave themselves. As I point out in my book, they
will have to treat their clients better and treat providers better.
They will have to focus more on patient care and less on profits.
To read more questions and answers from last night's online chat, visit standwithdrdean.com/live.
June 9, 2009
By Joe Frandino
Released: Tuesday, June 17, 2009
BURLINGTON, VT Democracy for America, our nation's largest people powered PAC, endorsed Josh Skaller in the
New York City Council District 39 race. Gov. Howard Dean, founder of DFA, appeared with Skaller at a
morning press conference at the campaign office of the Central Brooklyn
Independent Democrats. They later greeted subway riders at the F
trains 7th Avenuestop. "I'm proud to endorse Josh Skaller for the New York City Council,"
said Gov. Dean. "He's the kind of strong progressive leader we need
standing up for our values at the local level. I admire Josh's
commitment to meeting voters in Brooklyn one at a time. Josh
understands that politics should be about empowering ordinary people to
engage in our democracy, whether it's giving small amounts of money or
talking to their friends. " Skaller, the only DFA-endorsed candidate in the race for District
39, is a long-time grassroots activist and has served as a director of
the local volunteer DFA group, Democracy for New York City, for the
last four years. "On the New York City Council, Josh Skaller will work with fellow
reform-minded leaders to affect real, lasting changes in the way the
city conducts its business and relates to its citizens," said Jim Dean,
Chair of DFA. "At a time when billionaire Mayor Bloomberg dominates
city politics, Josh will use his position to empower like-minded local
community groups and organizers and give them a strong voice at City
Hall." Democracy for America is a key endorsement in local races like this
one, bringing in donations from progressives and providing volunteers
to participate in door-to-door, grassroots outreach. DFA has helped
elect 578 progressives to office, from Senator Mark Begich in Alaska to
Rep. Donna Edwards in Marylands 4th Congressional District. "Josh knows New York is a place where true progressive leadership
is really needed and where it has the potential to take hold and set
the tone for the country," said Jim Dean. "Democracy for America is
proud to endorse his campaign." ABOUT DEMOCRACY FOR AMERICA Democracy for America is our
nation's largest people powered PAC. With over one
million members nationwide, DFA is a grassroots powerhouse working to
change our country and the Democratic Party from the bottom-up.
March 26, 2009
Released: Thursday, March 26, 2009
BURLINGTON, VT Howard Dean launched a new campaign yesterday evening on a Democracy for America conference call with thousands of supporters across the country. The former chair of the DNC called on Congress to pass healthcare reform which includes a universally available public option, such as Medicare. "Healthcare reform legislation rises and falls on whether the American public is allowed to choose a universally available public option, like Medicare, or not." Governor Dean explained to his supporters. "If we are allowed to choose a public option like Medicare, the bill will be real healthcare reform. If we're not, we could be back fighting about it for another 20 years before anybody tries again."
Dr. Dean's announcement comes at time when insurance companies and HMO's have vowed to fight President Obama on his campaign promise to include a publicly available option in the healthcare reform he wants passed by Congress this year. "The battle against real healthcare reform already begun. Our Stand With Dr. Dean campaign will ensure that policy makers in DC hear from every American, not just big money who will stop at nothing to retain the status quo." said Arshad Hasan, Executive Director of Democracy For America.
As a first step in the campaign, Dr. Dean asked supporters to add their name to a petition statement at www.StandwithDrDean.com. The campaign will be run by Governor Dean and Democracy For America. This is the beginning of a multi-pronged campaign which will generate broad based support for a public option through neighborhood canvasses, meetings with legislators, running ads in targeted districts, and more. Dr. Dean asked supporters to gather 10,000 signatures by Friday and the organization expects to deliver over 250,000 signatures to members of Congress in the weeks to come.
The text of the petition reads: Give America a choice. We support healthcare reform that allows individual Americans to choose either a universally available public healthcare option like Medicare or for-profit private insurance. A public option is the only way to guarantee healthcare for all Americans and its inclusion is non- negotiable.
Any legislation without the choice of a public option is only insurance reform and not the healthcare reform America needs.
Democracy for America, the people powered PAC, is a one million-member strong grassroots organization which organizes activists in local communities, trains campaign staff, and endorses progressive candidates up and down the ballot. Governor Dean's return to DFA coincides with its fifth anniversary. Governor Dean plans to focus the organizations efforts on health care for the coming year.
For more information or to schedule an interview with Governor Dean or Arshad Hasan, please contact Democracy For America at 802-651-3200.
October 22, 2008
Released: Friday, October 17, 2008
BURLINGTON, VT DemocracyForAmerica.com, our nations largest progressive political action organization, endorsed Frank Lautenbergs campaign for the United States Senate during the primaries because of his record of leadership and his commitment to progressive values. With a global financial crisis, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and working men and women struggling to get by, DFA knows we need Sen. Lautenberg now more than ever. Frank Lautenberg is a progressive fighter with the experience, wisdom, and judgment we have to have in the United States Senate, said Jim Dean, Chair of DFA. Sen. Lautenberg is the leader we need as America moves forward to confront the major challenges here at home and overseas. Frank Lautenberg was born in Paterson, N.J., the son of immigrants who came through Ellis Island. Along with two childhood friends, Sen. Lautenberg started ADP one of the first and largest computing service companies in the world. After serving as CEO for ADP for many years, Sen. Lautenberg was elected to the U.S. Senate. In this term alone, Frank Lautenberg has voted repeatedly to bring our troops home from Iraq, stood up to the Bush administration to stop drilling for oil less than 100 miles from New Jerseys shoreline, and stopped George Bush from cutting affordable health care for thousands of working class New Jersey families and children. Democracy for America and I are both committed to changing direction in Washington after the failures of eight years of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Together we will work to end the War in Iraq, boost our economy, protect the environment, and make health care and higher education more affordable and accessible, said Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg. Democracy for America is the key endorsement in this race, bringing donations from progressives and providing volunteers to participate in door-to-door, grassroots outreach. DFA has helped elect over 550 progressives to office from Governor Deval Patrick in Massachusetts to Rep. Jerry McNerney in Californias 11th Congressional District. Frank Lautenberg is a true progressive who has always fought for working men and women in the Garden State and across the country, said Daniel I. Medress, Communications Director of Democracy for America. Unlike his opponent, Sen. Lautenberg takes his marching orders from the only people who count: his constituents. ###
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