Yep, There's an App for ... Howard Dean? | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Yep, There's an App for ... Howard Dean?


Published August 18, 2009 at 2:10 p.m.

Just in time to join the debate about keeping the so-called "public option" part of the national health care reform debate — an iPhone app.

But, not just any old iPhone app. It's a Howard Dean app that combines grassroots activism with an eBook.

Former Vermont Gov. and DNC Chairman Howard Dean, whose 2004 presidential bid was fueled by netroots activists and the Internet, partnered up with Vermont-based bookseller Chelsea Green to launch the application, dubbed Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform. It costs $9.99.

The application is based on Dean's latest book, Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform: How We Can Achieve Affordable Medical Care for Every American and Make Our Jobs Safer, published by Chelsea Green. The app was approved earlier this year, but was only recently put on sale on iTunes. The author himself touted it on Rachel Maddow (MSNBC) this week.

"This new, unique application transforms the experience of reading a book into direct activism in one of the most critical domestic issues America faces by incorporating features that enable readers to instantly contact their member of Congress, sign a petition in support of the public health insurance option, and engage their friends through key social networking tools," stated a release by the book publisher.

According to the release, a person who purchases the app can use the activist toolkit to:

Contact member of congress by using either the user's current location or zip code to generate telephone numbers for the corresponding congressional rep. Users will be able to dial right from their iPhone.

Sign Dean's petition, which calls on Congress to ensure that a public health insurance option is included in health care reform.

Involve friends by forwarding an email to their contacts about the book, the health care reform debate, and how to get involved, as well as posting items to Facebook and Twitter.

Watch two videos by Gov. Dean, outlining what real health care reform looks like and thanking the reader for their activism.

“As technology continues to play a powerful role in bringing change here at home and around the world, this iPhone application literally puts the power to take action right in the palm of the user’s hand,” Dean said in a statement. “Once again we are seeing the same forces mobilizing to prevent real reform. That’s why we need every American to get involved and make their voices heard.”

The application was developed by the Webstrong Group, a strategic communications and digital marketing agency based in Alexandria, Va., and headed up by Chelsea Green author and netroots activist and consultant Jerome Armstrong.