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What Kucinich Will Have to Walk Back if He Flip Flops

7:35 PM, Mar 16, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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We need health-care reform. We need Medicare for all. We need to join the rest of the industrial world in being able to provide health care for our people as a basic right. But the fact is that one out of every three health-care dollars goes for corporate profits, stock options, executive salaries, advertising, marketing, the cost of paperwork. This bill doesn't change that. This bill doesn't change the fact that the insurance companies are going to keep socking it to the consumer.

So, you know, if the White House is ready to go back and have a robust public option, as Jacob Hacker iterated, with 125 million people being able to negotiate and knock down insurance premiums, then we have something to talk about. But otherwise, you know, I need to hear more about what they're proposing. And what they've proposed so far isn't anything different than I voted against.

MR. O'DONNELL: Do you fear for the Democratic Party if there is no health-care reform bill passed? Do you think that outcome politically for the Democratic Party will be worse than passing this flawed bill?

REP. KUCINICH: I think the Democratic Party is in political trouble right now because we have 15 million people unemployed and we have another 11 (million) or 12 million people unemployed. The economy is stagnant. We've given bailouts to Wall Street. We haven't taken care of Main Street. We've got 12 million people who could lose their homes this year, and a quarter of the population is underwater with their mortgage. I mean, the economy is stagnant. That's really the key issue.

Is health care a problem? You bet it is. Would it be helpful if everyone in this country had health care? Yes, it would. But not in a giveaway to the insurance industry. If you have $70 billion a year, put it into health care. You don't have to give the insurance industry their cut because somehow, you know, they have so much influence in a political process. This bill that's going from the Senate to the House is just another version of Medicare Part D, which was a giveaway to the pharmaceutical companies.

MR. O'DONNELL: What do you say to the president and Democrats who say, "Let's get this passed and then we can build on it with future legislation"?

REP. KUCINICH: You're building on sand. There's no structure here. You're building on a foundation of privatization of our health- care system. That's the problem. The insurance companies are the problem. They're nothing to build on. We build our hopes on the insurance companies and all we're going to have is more poverty in this country. And people aren't --

MR. O'DONNELL: Congressman Dennis Kucinich --

REP. KUCINICH: People aren't going to get the care that they need.

MR. O'DONNELL: Go ahead and finish.

REP. KUCINICH: Remember, insurance companies make money not providing health care. That is a fundamental truth about our health- care system.

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