Howard Dean Launches Health Care Reform Campaign


Thursday, March 26, 2009BURLINGTON, 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 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.

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