(8 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Apparently, Sen, Joseph Lieberman can’t keep his lies straight. Once again reneging on not just campaign promises he made in 2000 and when he ran as an Independent for his Senate seat. Just 3 short months ago he discussed the Medicare buy in with the “Connecticut Post”, a complete contradiction of his now adamant opposition to the latest “compromise” in the Senate version of HCR bill.
My proposals were to basically expand the existing successful public health insurance programs Medicare and Medicaid. In the case of Medicaid, to allow people who were above the eligibility level to buy into the Medicaid system, under the theory that it would be up to a certain income level, under the theory that they would buy into it at less than the market rate of health insurance.
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, although to me still young and vital, you’re rated as a risk so you pay a lot of money.
Lieberman has opposed every compromise from the start, has lied and contradicted himself repeatedly.
On Sunday’s “Face the Nation”. Lieberman told Reid flat out that he would vote against the current health care bill. The response was that the “leadership was surprised”.
“Leadership was definitely a bit surprised with the lines being drawn in the sand the way they were,” said the source. “We expected that he would say critical things about [the bill]. But he is not even giving us a chance to get it scored.”
Really? They seem to be the only ones who were.
In the same interview, Lieberman said he didn’t think that the Democrats ahd given up enough on Health Care:
he thought the chamber could pass legislation this week if it just took “a few things out” first. Those things: a public option for insurance coverage (which is already gone), a provision that would expand Medicare to those as young as 55, and a new national insurance program that would help finance long-term care (known as the CLASS Act.)
“We’ve got to stop adding to the bill,” said Lieberman. “We have to start subtracting some controversial things. I think the only way to get this done before Christmas is to bring in some Republicans who are open minded on this like [Sen.] Olympia Snowe…”
The man can’t make up his mind. How can when he doesn’t even show up for the meetings about the bill to which he has been invited.
Wonk Room’s Igor Volsky notes that “if Lieberman was truly interested in voting for health care reform he would offer substitute policies that could achieve the goals of the public option,” but that “it’s unlikely that Lieberman will offer Democrats a real compromise.” Volsky writes that Lieberman’s “initial uncertainty about the Medicare buy-in may be the result of his absence from the original negotiations.” Though Lieberman was invited to the talks, he chose not to attend and Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) sat in for him.
It is now being reported that he will also filibuster the bill. This from Ezra Klein:
The Huffington Post and Roll Call are both reporting that Joe Lieberman notified Harry Reid that he will filibuster health-care reform if the final bill includes an expansion of Medicare. Previously, Lieberman had been cool to the idea, saying he wanted to make sure it wouldn’t increase the deficit or harm Medicare’s solvency (and previously to that, he supported it as part of the Gore/Lieberman health-care plan). That comforted some observers, as the CBO is expected to say it will do neither. Someone must have given Lieberman a heads-up on that, as he’s decided to make his move in advance of the CBO score, the better to ensure the facts of the policy couldn’t impede his opposition to it.
Meanwhile the White House continues to insist Lieberman be given what ever he wants:
The White House is encouraging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to cut a deal with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and eliminate the proposed Medicare expansion in the health reform bill, according to an official close to the negotiations.
But Reid is described as so frustrated with Lieberman that he is not ready to sacrifice a key element of the health care bill, and first wants to see the Congressional Budget Office cost analysis of the Medicare buy-in. The analysis is expected early this week.
“There is a weariness and a lot of frustration that one person is holding up the will of 59 others,” the official said. “There is still too much anger and confusion at one particular senator’s reversal.”
Digby has her take on Lieberman and I think she nails it:
When Reid said “Joe Lieberman is the least of my problems” he was waving a red flag in his face. It’s all about him. And he will not be ignored. And he will not vote for anything that liberals want, period. I don’t know why they thought it would be any different. He’s a sanctimonious, petty, vindictive egomaniac. But then, he always has been.
(emphasis is mine)
Update Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NB) has joined Lieberman in his opposition to the compromise on the Public Option.