Online Chat

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.