Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sen. Joe Lieberman Rolls Political Hand Grenade At Public Option

Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, an independent who supposedly caucuses with the Democrats, stated that he will help the Republicans filibuster the public option:

Joe Lieberman has once again rolled a political hand grenade into the Democrats’ tent.

The Connecticut independent obliterated any illusion that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) can quickly ram through health care reform with a public option, telling reporters on Tuesday that he would join Republicans in a filibuster to prevent a vote on Reid’s plan if it isn’t changed first.

...“To put this government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for the national debt,” added Lieberman, whose state is headquarters to many of the nation’s biggest insurance companies.

Firedoglake points out the fallacy in Lieberman's argument:

...Lieberman’s justification on this is just nonsense – the public option would SAVE money for the government, to the tune of $100 billion dollars over 10 years according to the Congressional Budget Office. It also would cost nothing to the taxpayer, being financed by individual premiums.

Lieberman is singing a different tune from the one he sang in his 2006 campaign:

Lieberman, July 2006: What I’m saying to the people of Connecticut, I can do more for you and your families to get something done to make health care affordable, to get universal health insurance.

This is also not the first political hand grenade that Lieberman has rolled at an administration that has stood by him:

President Barack Obama and Reid personally intervened to keep members of the Democratic Caucus from punishing Lieberman for his 2008 transgressions by booting him out as chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, a position the hawkish Lieberman cherishes. But that hasn’t kept him from siding with the GOP on the administration’s plans to shutter Guantanamo, the Iraq drawdown and, now, the public option.

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