Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democrat-turned-independent from Connecticut, said Tuesday that he will not vote for a healthcare reform bill that includes a government-run insurance plan.
This means that as things now stand, Democrats will not have enough votes to pass healthcare reform with a so-called public option unless Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) can pick up unexpected GOP votes.
Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine), the only Republican to vote for the Senate Finance Committee’s healthcare bill, said Tueday that she would vote against bringing up a bill that included a government-run insurance program unless the implementation of such a program were set to a trigger.
Lieberman said he would vote with Reid and other Democrats on a motion to begin debate on a healthcare bill because he believes it is an important issue that needs to be considered. But he said he would not lend his support to an effort to cut off debate on a bill including a government-run insurance program.
Lieberman said he told Reid of his position in a recent conversation and that the leader “respected and understood.”
“We’re trying to do too much at once,” said Lieberman. “To put this government-created, government-run insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayer, for the premium payer and for the national debt. I don’t think we need it now.”
Lieberman said he was not placated by allowing states to opt out of the public option “because it still creates a whole new federal government entitlement program, for which taxpayers will eventually be on the line.”
The motion to begin debate and the motion to move to a final vote are two actions that would require 60 votes and are considered the highest hurdles to passing a reform bill through the Senate.
Can we strip this traitor of his chairmanships already? I have several choice descriptors for Lieberman, but party/caucus loyalist is not one of them. Mr. Gang of 14/Up or Down Vote is more interested in letting insurance companies make a profit off you than helping Americans. He's afraid of doing "too much."
Too late. He already has done too much. Too much to ever be allowed to caucus with the Democrats again.