Lieberman not sold on health care compromise
by desmoinesdem, Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 10:55:55 AM EST
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.