We’ve made so much progress. And now, we need to elect the person who will finish the job.

Howard Dean’s remarks at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

Remarks as prepared for delivery


Democrats, Independents, and to the millions of Republicans who don’t recognize the party they saw and heard in Cleveland, and can’t support their party’s nominees for President and Vice President: 25 years ago, I got to know Hillary Clinton when she worked to achieve a goal a century in the making, universal health care. Between the aspiration ofHarry Truman and the accomplishment of Barack Obama, there was Hillary, poised and persistent.

When her first attempt at health reform didn’t work out, Hillary could have given up. Instead, she fought the way she always does. She did her homework, persevered, never forgot who she was fighting for. Thanks to her effort, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program was born. And she worked just as hard to ensure that states actually signed up, joining with Republican governors to get it done.

Today, 8 million more children have health insurance, as a result. That’s 8 million children whose families don’t have to choose between paying the rent and taking them to the doctor. When President Obama took office, he picked up the fight. And with the Affordable Care Act passed, we expanded insurance to 20 million more people. Today, 90 percent of Americans are covered.

We’ve made so much progress. And now, we need to elect the person who will finish the job. Hillary has a plan to drive down health care costs. Hillary has a plan to stand up to the drug companies and lower prescription drug prices. And Hillary has a plan to take us that last mile and finally achieve health care for all. That’s what Hillary will do.

Now, Donald Trump has a plan, too. He would rip up Obamacare; throw 20 million people off their health insurance; take us back to a time when insurance companies could deny you coverage if you have a preexisting condition, or charge you more for being a woman. And what’s he going to replace it with? “Something so much better.” “Yuge,” no doubt. That’s it. That’s the plan.

His Vice Presidential pick is no better. Mike Pence voted against expanding the Children’s Health Insurance program Hillary helped start. He voted against requiring insurance plans to cover mental health and addiction treatment. He voted to end Medicare as we know it.

By the way, Mike Pence once said that when both parents work, children end up facing “stunted emotional growth.” I’m a doctor. Let me tell you what actually stunts children’s growth. Not having access to health care. Inadequate funding for school nutrition programs. Guns — the ultimate public-health crisis.

Also cigarettes. I hear Governor Pence missed the memo, but they do in fact cause cancer and no amount of tobacco company contributions can change that, Governor. The choice in this election is clear.

We need a president whose decisions are rooted in facts. We need a president who will defend our interests around the world — not with ignorant bluster and bombast, but with toughness and resolve. We need a president who will ensure that the wealthiest among us play by the same rules as hardworking, middle-class Americans. And yes, we need a president who will never stop fighting to ensure that universal health care is a basic human right.

If that’s the president we want, if that’s the America we believe in, then don’t wait until November to make your voice heard. Go to HillaryClinton.com to donate right now and help make history. And volunteer, because this race is going to be won on the ground.

In Colorado, and Iowa, and North Carolina, and Michigan, and Florida, and Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and then we’re going all the way to Washington, D.C.