08/08/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Howard Dean: Washington Is More Resistant To Change Than Anything "Except A Few Religious Cults"

In an interview with Esquire magazine, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean (author of a new book, "Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Health Care Reform," explained why there was so much resistance to a public health care option.

ESQ: Speaking of the Obama plan, you're even stronger than he has been lately in support of the public plan. You say that without it, it's not reform.

HD: It's not. It's a waste of time. Don't pretend you're going to do health-insurance reform unless you're really going to change the system. The discussions in the Senate have not been about changing the system.

ESQ: They seem to be worried about preserving the status quo.

HD: Washington is the most conservative town in America. Its culture is the most resistant to change except a few religious cults.

Yesterday, Dean responded to reports that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was pushing for a public option that would be triggered by future conditions. "I think that a public plan with triggers is not a real public plan and it is going to be a trillion dollar failure," Dean said. "Anyone who thinks a trigger is going to lead us to a good place five years from now is wrong... It is not a sensible policy compromise."

Read the full interview here.

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