Lieberman not sold on health care compromise

Brian Beutler reports for TPMDC that last night's deal among Senate Democrats still may not be enough for Joe Lieberman.

"I am encouraged by the progress toward a consensus on proposals to send to the Congressional Budget Office to review. I believe that it is important to pass legislation that expands access to the millions who do not have coverage, improves quality and lowers costs while not impeding our economic recovery or increasing the debt.

"My opposition to a government-run insurance option, including any option with a trigger, has been clear for months and remains my position today.

"Regarding the 'Medicare buy-in' proposal that is being discussed, we must remain vigilant about protecting and extending the solvency of the program, which is now in a perilous financial condition.

"It is my understanding that at this point there is no legislative language so I look forward to analyzing the details of the plan and reviewing analysis from the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of the Actuary in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid."

It's possible that the trigger in the compromise could bring over Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, getting Democrats to 60 votes even if they lose Lieberman. However, that's no guarantee.

Harry Reid never should have taken the budget reconciliation route off the table. I understand that there are drawbacks to that approach, but I would rather see our leaders push a stronger bill through with 51 votes in the Senate.

Update [2009-12-9 16:0:23 by desmoinesdem]: Beutler notes that the Gore-Lieberman platform during the 2000 presidential campaign called for lowering the age at which people are allowed to buy in to Medicare.

Tags: Congress, health care reform, Joe Lieberman, Medicare, Olympia Snowe, Public Option, Senate, trigger (all tags)



Re: Lieberman not sold on health care compromise

Lieberman is "SCUM".  He's for the party of 1, and that's Joe Lieberman.  You are correct, I will definatelt work and contribute so that this piece of shit never holds another elected office. How oh how were the good citizen's on Connecticut ever elect this no good GOP boot licker?

by BE10sCoach 2009-12-09 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman not sold on health care compromise

Lieberman came up during a time when COnnecticut was comfortably Republican.  He always was very strongly supportive of the insurance industry, wall street, and israel, but he was pretty progressive for Ct.  Of course, that was a long time ago.  Lieberman is in office today because of the complicity of both political parties.  Our president (and the Clintons) both supported Lieberman during his last election.  The republicans withheld any support for their candidate as well.  Clearly, the old boys club won the day.  This is the same thing that is happening now with Specter.  Both parties will once again rally to protect one of the gang in contravention of the will and needs of the people.

by orestes 2009-12-09 02:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman not sold on health care compromise

I partially disagree on your assessment of the Specter situation. What I mean by that is simple. The Republicans party will DEFINITELY throw its full weight behind defeating him...and they will fall short.

(That is of course if he makes it through the primary against Sestak)

by JDF 2009-12-09 03:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman not sold on health care compromise

We'll have to see.  If the right wing has taken over the R party in Pa, you will probably be right.  I hope Specter loses in the primary, but the establishment has all come out in support of Specter and I remember what happened to Lamont in CT.  Although if there's a dump the bums movement, Sestak may win!

by orestes 2009-12-09 05:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman not sold on health care compromise

There is a huge difference between Specter/Sestak and Lieberman/Lamont, mainly that Specter has moved heavily to the left.

Also, Specter was brought into the Dem party by the establishment. Part of that deal was that they support him in the primary. The leadership won't reign on that deal in case future republicans feel like jumping ship too (Maine sisters basically).  

by vecky 2009-12-09 07:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman not sold on health care compromise

Huge difference?  Your distinctions are ridiculous.  First, Lieberman was already a member of the party and was clearly supported by the establishment.  Second, Specter had not moved to the left at the time of his defection.  I assume he agreed to follow the fold, but he had no choice.  His political career was at stake.  And given how Specter behaved during the prior 8 years in particular, I don't think the est. should have been so generous.  Let him hang, I say.

Significantly, you fail to acknowledge the overriding similarity between the two- rejection of a party member in favor of a career politician who has actively worked against the principles of the party.  

by orestes 2009-12-10 04:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman not sold on health care compromise

Is the trigger for a strong PO better than expansion of Medicare down to 55 ?

Lieberman's concern over medicare is a moot point. The CBO had previously scored expanding medicare to 55 and it makes the program more solvent rather than less. So while understanding their is no rational explanation that will satisfy him eitherway I think he will go for the medicare expansion.

So what would we prefer: a strongish PO but triggered (gain snowe, loose Lieberman) or Medicare expansion (loose snowe, maybe gain Lieberman) ?

by vecky 2009-12-09 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman not sold on health care compromise

I think it is not safe to assume who we would gain or lose, since all this chatter is presumptively bargaining talk.

When I see this kind of mumbling from Lieberman, my ears translate it as "Hey everybody, I'm not through with being the center of attention."

by Steve M 2009-12-09 12:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman not sold on health care compromise

Well, when the other side bends over every time why should he not think it is going to happen again?

by bruh3 2009-12-09 01:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman not sold on health care compromise

We only have one President in our democracy, and her name is Olympia.

by Steve M 2009-12-09 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman not sold on health care compromise

Ha-sad, but  true.

by bruh3 2009-12-09 02:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman not sold on health care compromise

Yeah, I agree Presidents have no influence over policy at all.

by bruh3 2009-12-09 03:57PM | 0 recs
Which is NOT what he said dumbass

he said Presidents have little to no influence over written legislation, which they don't.

by ND22 2009-12-09 04:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Which is NOT what he said dumbass

But but LBJ... LBJ...

We just need some arm twisting. Physical arm twisting in smoke filled back rooms. That's the trick!

by vecky 2009-12-09 04:37PM | 0 recs
Yeah LBJ was so influential

Think of all the Senators he arm-twisted to vote for civil rights.....



....all those Senators, so many to be stars, all the Senators he arm-twisted!

Think about it.

Just for the record,, and slightly OT; LBJ to Hubert Humphrey on Civil Rights Act on February 18th;

"The bill can't pass unless you get Ev Dirksen. You and I are going to get Ev. It's going to take time. We're going to get him. You make up your mind now that you've got to spend time with Ev Dirksen. You've got to let him have a piece of the action. He's got to look good all the time. You get in there to see Dirksen. You drink with Dirksen! You talk with Dirksen. You listen to Dirksen!"

Yes, you heard it, LBJ wanted A REPUBLICAN VOTE! GASP!!! 28 members of his party opposed and LBJ didn't seem to think he could change their he went after Republicans!

by ND22 2009-12-09 05:00PM | 0 recs

Genius need not concern itself with such details.


by vecky 2009-12-09 07:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Which is NOT what he said dumbass

First, your analysis is simply wrong.  The president exercises a great deal of influence over legislation.  Have you forgotten the veto power?  Secondly, this is the most simplistic, meaningless analysis promoted in defense of the president.  Presidents can and have exerted great influence over legislation.  That is why it is said s/he has the bully pulpit.  Consider the plain meaning of those words.  Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, the president is the leader of the country.  We elect a president to carry out the policies s/he presents during the campaign.  If we accept your facile view, candidates should not promise anything.  Clearly, they should tell the public- look, I will have nothing (or little) to do with enacting laws.  My job solely will be to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed.  You should be careful of calling others a dumbass.

by orestes 2009-12-09 04:55PM | 0 recs
You know

the best thing about being a winner in history is that you get to rewrite it to make yourself seem a lot more powerful.


Presidents can and have exerted great influence over legislation.

is not really true. The only time Presidents have influenced legislation is when the same legislation was already favored by enough votes in Congress to pass, otherwise, the only influence they have is a veto threat, which on this issue would be crazy. Of course when a piece of legislation passes, and you get to sign the bill, you get to romaticize how much influence you had over its passage.

by ND22 2009-12-09 05:03PM | 0 recs
and btw

I, for one, don't think candidates should promise anything, because you can't make a promise not knowing what situation you'll be in when the time comes to deliver.

Of course if they don't promise anything, they don't win, so you got a no-win situation there.

I personally don't vote on promises, I vote on goals.

by ND22 2009-12-09 05:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Which is NOT what he said dumbass

I appreciate the thought, but you are not going to convince intellectually dishonest people to be honest.  

by bruh3 2009-12-09 05:09PM | 0 recs
What are we going to do?

I always knew that healthcare reform was not possible, but my hopes were raised greaty by this President.  Now, he is going to stomp on our hearts and allow the party to die.  

by Kent 2009-12-09 01:02PM | 0 recs

by ND22 2009-12-09 01:06PM | 0 recs
Re: troll

That's actually the most positive statement ever from Kent. I don't think it's nearly that bad. We will still get subsidies for poor and lower income folk to purchase insurance, as well as insurance reform. Those parts are locked in. The debate now is over the PO, it's shape or form, not the entirety of reform.

by vecky 2009-12-09 01:11PM | 0 recs
Which strangely becomes closer to...

Medicare for all.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-09 01:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Which strangely becomes closer to...

Which is the benefit of this proposal. Afterall if it can be opened to 55 yr olds, why not 50 or 45...

by vecky 2009-12-09 02:31PM | 0 recs
it won't be opened

to all 55 year olds. Only those without insurance (the ones private insurers have dumped or refused to cover). So, Medicare gets the higher-risk customers, and private insurers increase their profits.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-09 03:20PM | 0 recs
Re: it won't be opened

It would also get those at that age who choose to drop their private insurance I would imagine. Unless I misunderstand the manner in which this works.

by JDF 2009-12-09 03:25PM | 0 recs
Medicare already has the higher risk customers

it's who reason for existing was it was a compromise meant to get older (more expensive to cover) patients off private insurance.

by ND22 2009-12-09 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: it won't be opened

Ya, but Medicare gets the high-risk customers anyway, when they turn 65. It's not like they get any healthier in the interim.

I can understand the point of it not being open to those who have employer insurance - if a private company wants to cover them, why stop them?

by vecky 2009-12-09 04:00PM | 0 recs

still a troll.

by ND22 2009-12-09 03:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman not sold on health care compromise

When are we going to catch on? That Lucy/Lieberman/Nelson/Landrieu ALWAY pull the football away before we try to kick it.

No matter the shiny object we're supposed to look toward to distract us from the last shiny object we were "offered" as hope, the unholy Blue Dogs will always shatter the latest shiny object.

Oh make up your own metaphors, you're going to need them for the next taunting takeaways of anything worthwhile in healthcare, thanks to the bought and paid for Blue Dogs.

by judybrowni 2009-12-09 02:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman not sold on health care compromise

This runs deeper than the blue dogs.  None of the party establishment has really flexed their muscles on this issue.  I'd let them rise or fall on their own.  If you kill health care, we're going to let the people know.  Do you want that as your legacy?  Hard ball.  As a side note, this is why I am pleased that David Paterson forced the vote on gay marriage in the NYS senate.  At least now we know where they all stand and all NYers can take action to promote their position on the issue.  This fundamental principle of democracy is being lost with all of this cowardly hiding/stalling.  We won't bring an issue to vote until we know it will win.  That's CYA BS.

by orestes 2009-12-09 02:50PM | 0 recs
Lieberman would love to give up healthcare reform

Go ahead, dare Lieberman to kill healthcare reform -- he'd looooooove to, 'cause Conneticut is wholely owned by the health insurance industry, as is Lieberman.

Threaten to take Lieberman's senior status and committees, and maybe, just maybe that might scare him.

But Reid isn't threatening Joe, just letting him kill anything that might upset the health insurers.

by judybrowni 2009-12-09 04:45PM | 0 recs

Take Lieberman's chairmanship away and you get him on all the Sunday talk shows and running around Connecticut compaining the mean ol' partisan Democrats punished me for being my own person.

and he wins.

His approval rating actually went UP in the last few months.

by ND22 2009-12-09 05:07PM | 0 recs
Re: No

That is precisely the kind of cowardly thinking that has demolished the Democratic party.  They are so worried about how everything will play out that they are afraid to take a stand.  

by orestes 2009-12-09 05:11PM | 0 recs

I don't consider being five steps ahead of the media spin cowardly, it's realistic.

the best way to get rid of Lieberman is by voting him out, but we couldn't do that, so sucks to be us.

Lieberman's approval rating didn't rise in the last few months for no reason.

by ND22 2009-12-09 05:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Sorry

Where has this "staying five steps ahead of the media spin" gotten the Democrats over the past 20 years, huh?  And if you don't understand the political value of staking out a position and sticking to it, there's little I can say to make you understand.  

by orestes 2009-12-09 05:18PM | 0 recs
to the majority for one thing

by ND22 2009-12-09 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: to the majority for one thing

I would heartily disagree with that.  The implosion of the republican party led to the majority.  Hell, we've got more republicans in the party at this point than we do real Democrats!

by orestes 2009-12-09 05:24PM | 0 recs

and here I thought the Democrats won because the people wanted a progressive utopia!

by ND22 2009-12-09 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Funny

What happened to being realistic?

by orestes 2009-12-09 05:30PM | 0 recs
Sarcasm doesn't registere with you, does it?

by ND22 2009-12-09 06:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Sarcasm doesn't registere with you, does it?

Of course it does.  I was giving it back at ya.

by orestes 2009-12-10 06:03AM | 0 recs

one forgets that Robert Byrd, who lead the opposition and filibuster of HIS OWN PARTY'S PRESIDENT'S LEGISLATIVE PRIORITY not only didn't get kicked out of the party by LBJ, whom we all want our leadershiip to be like, he became the fucking Majority Leader!

by ND22 2009-12-09 05:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Sorry

Ya it's amazing, why the hell did his approval rating rise...

Still below 50 mind you.

I suspect it will drop again after HCR passes, PO or no.

by vecky 2009-12-09 07:43PM | 0 recs
Re: No

Risk adverse behavior is at the core of the Democratic mindset.

by bruh3 2009-12-09 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: No

It certainly came to that.  I think the problem for the party was losing its working class roots.  The working class understand the need and value in fighting because they have not obtained things easily.  We need to get back there.    

by orestes 2009-12-09 05:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman not sold on health care compromise

Care to explicate?  It would actually foster a discussion.  Drive-by comments don't add anything.

by orestes 2009-12-09 05:03PM | 0 recs


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