December 14, 2009

On Face the Nation yesterday, Sen. Joe Lieberman said that he not only wants to strip out the public option, but also the Medicare buy-in at fifty-five.

"You have to take out the Medicare buy-in. You have to forget about the public option. You probably have to take out the class act which was a whole new entitlement program that will in future years put us further into the deficit," Lieberman told CBS' Bob Schieffer Sunday.

"I want to tell you, we could pass a health care reform bill this week with more than 60 votes and it would be bipartisan if we just took a few things out of the bill as it is today," said Lieberman.

Lieberman wants to pass a Republican health care package, which is no plan at all. This bitter man is hijacking the entire health care reform effort for no other reasons than his petty, narcissistic agenda. He is a traitor to the liberal policies that once, as a vice-presidential nominee in 2000, he would have never signed onto.

Greg Sargent comes up with video proof which exposes Lieberman of being a bad-faith participant in health care negotiations. Holy Joe just three months ago was saying that he supports a Medicare buy-in plan. Oh, my!

What would David Broder say about that?

In the vid, Lieberman appeared to go further than the current Senate deal, which would expand Medicare to those aged 55-64, saying he supported the idea of expanding it to people aged 50 and over. Lieberman referenced his proposal along these lines during the 2006 campaign, and added:

“My proposals were to basically expand the existing successful public health insurance programs Medicare and Medicaid…

“When it came to Medicare I was very focused on a group — post 50, maybe more like post 55. People who have retired early, or unfortunately have been laid off early, who lose their health insurance and they’re too young to qualify for Medicare.

“What I was proposing was that they have an option to buy into Medicare early and again on the premise that that would be less expensive than the enormous cost. If you’re 55 or 60 and you’re without health insurance and you go in to try to buy it, because you’re older … you’re rated as a risk so you pay a lot of money.”

It’s not entirely clear that Lieberman was offering a full-throated current endorsement of the proposal, but his tone is clearly positive and approving. It’s yet another sign, as if you needed one, that Lieberman’s current opposition to the Senate proposal doesn’t appear to have any roots in a genuine policy disagreement.

It appears that Holy Joe wants to destroy health-care reform because his feelings have been hurt by liberals who disagreed with his warmongering behavior. The pettiness he holds dear to his heart is being used to destroy any chance that working-class Americans will be getting meaningful health care reform. You can't go lower than that.

Again it boils down to leadership, and President Obama and Harry Reid have not led this fight well from the beginning. They knew they had to deal with Joe, so he was bowed down to. The problem is that he felt no repercussions after he threw his full support to John McCain in the 2008 election. "He's with us on everything except the war," was what Harry Reid said. How did that work out for ya, Harry? Joe is destined to destroy health-care reform altogether.

Digby writes:

People need to send the link to this to all the press and the villagers they can think of to show just how perfidious their favorite "man of integrity" is being on this. Thy won't care about the substance, but this helps expose Lieberman's pettiness which villagers always find uncomfortable. (The exposure, not the pettiness.)

The PCCC has set up another action against Lieberman:

Please sign this petition to progressive Senators Russ Feingold, Bernie Sanders, Roland Burris, and Sherrod Brown:

PETITION: "Don't let Joe Lieberman win! Americans need you to stand strong and block any 'compromise' without a strong public option. If necessary, demand that Sen. Harry Reid and President Obama support budget reconciliation and pass a bill with just 51 votes -- at which point, Joe Lieberman will be irrelevant and the public option can be made even stronger."

Key Democrats have said they won't support a bill without a strong public option:

Please sign on to it. The more we expose him as a fraud the better.

Joe's wife is also a major player in Lieberman's thinking process and part of his obstructionism that is responsible for Joe's switching of positions and trying to hold health care hostage.

Matt Yglesias writes:

That said, I agree with Chris Bowers that in a lot of ways the real story here is that the Senate leadership has, at every step of this process, underscored that a “reconciliation” path to a health care bill is off the table. That means Lieberman has unlimited control over what happens, and no incentive to compromise, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that he’s being uncompromising. Can’t liberals be just as stiff-necked as Lieberman? Sure, they could. But liberals members do have an incentive to compromise—the tens of thousands of people who die every year for lack of health insurance. The leverage that Lieberman and other “centrists” have obtained on this issue (and on climate change) stems from a demonstrated willingness to embrace sociopathic indifference to the human cost of their actions.

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