Now that the public option has been removed from the Senate healthcare reform bill, Sen. Joe Lieberman has turned his attention to getting the Medicare buy in out of the bill. On CBS News’ Face The Nation, he said, “You got to take out the Medicare buy-in. You got to forget about the public option.”
Here is the video:
Lieberman claimed that in order for the bill to get 60 votes more changes have to be made, “You got to take out the Medicare buy-in. You got 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– in future years put us further into deficit. And you got to adopt some of the cost containment provisions that will strengthen cost containment that all of us favor. If you did that, you’d have an enormous accomplishment. Thirty million Americans who can’t afford insurance today would get it. Insurance companies out to be more aggressively regulated and costs would be bent down. So it’s time to get reasonable.”
If the Senate Democratic leadership thought that all it would take to get Lieberman’s vote is the removal of the public option, they were wrong. Lieberman is making it plain that he will oppose any kind of healthcare reform bill that is put up for a final vote. What Lieberman supports is health insurance reform, not healthcare reform.
It is time for Senate Democrats to stop giving concessions to Lieberman, because he is never going to support healthcare reform. The more the Democratic leadership gives him, the more he demands. Lieberman won’t be happy until there is nothing meaningful left in the healthcare reform bill.