Lieberman opposes public plan in ObamaCare

posted at 1:15 pm on June 14, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Joe Lieberman has had plenty of experience in enraging his fellow Democrats by maintaining an independent if still liberal viewpoint on policies from national security to war.  Harry Reid will have yet another headache after Lieberman’s interview with Bloomberg, in which he firmly opposed the public plan in ObamaCare, which Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama have pushed hard.  Lieberman says he sees no need for government to enter into this market, as The Hill reports:

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said this weekend that he opposes a public option plan for consumers in a healthcare reform plan to emerge from the Senate.

“I don’t favor a public option,” Lieberman told Bloomberg News in an interview broadcast this weekend. And I don’t favor a public option because I think there’s plenty of competition in the private insurance market.” …

“We have a unique opportunity, a real opportunity to do this year what we’ve been trying to do for years, which is to reform American healthcare,” Lieberman said. “I think the one thing that will stop that is pressure on the so-called public option.”

Other Democrats in the Senate, mostly from the red states, have also retreated from the public plan.  Mary Landrieu (LA) and Ben Nelson (NE) have not quite announced opposition to it, but have sounded skeptical notes.  Even if Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins join the Democrats, it would not take more than the three Democrats to uphold a filibuster on the entire bill, and we have yet to hear an explicit stand from other red-state Democrats such as Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor (AR), as well as Max Baucus and Jon Tester (MT).

Lieberman is right that a public plan would harden opposition to the health-care reform effort and give opponents a real lever for obstruction — and for good reason.  Most people believe that the health-care system in the US needs some sort of reform, although opinions vary widely on what form that should take.  Most people oppose a single-payer system and would not want a Trojan horse like the public plan included in the bill, and stopping single payer would give the Republicans a big issue in the midterms, even those Republicans in favor of more modest reforms.

For that reason, it might be better for the GOP if Reid and Pelosi keep the public plan option in the final bill, as long as we can get enough votes to block it in the Senate and keep it bottled up for the rest of the year.  The public plan option is a gateway drug for socialized medicine, and its inclusion makes the underlying motives of Democratic leadership that much more transparent.  Lieberman’s opposition gives that transparency a big boost, and if history serves as any judge, Reid, Pelosi, & Co will demonize Lieberman instead of listening to his wisdom.


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The Obama says, “Lieberman opposes me? Figures. I mean you know how those old je . . . ummm jerks are.”

- The Cat

MirCat on June 14, 2009 at 7:16 PM

The Obama says, “Lieberman opposes me? Figures. I mean you know how those old je . . . ummm jerks are.”

- The Cat

MirCat on June 14, 2009 at 7:16 PM

He’s gonna show Liebs the bottoms of his shoes.

jgapinoy on June 14, 2009 at 7:27 PM

We can Defeat ObamaScare!

And, then it will give us hope of taking the congress back in 2010.

The Dems need to be very concerned about what they have now taken on in this very unsound economy.

After saying that, I do believe the Republicans must address the Healthcare issues and find viable alternatives for those who can not afford insurance. Otherwise we will be re-visiting this every election.

333 on June 14, 2009 at 7:36 PM

!!!!!!!!!!!!!DISSENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By a former Liberal,awesome!!

canopfor on June 14, 2009 at 7:37 PM

Given that single payer has been the holy grail for “progressives” for 70+ years, we must always look at the details…for example A Caution to Conservatives on Health Care:

(from Keith Hennessey, via NRO)

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MDA3NDQ1NmExMDA3ZmNhZTQ2ZTlkZGZjMzI5NDU3MjA=

r keller on June 14, 2009 at 7:37 PM

i would not be surprised if this opposition is directly related to Obama’s stand on Isreal. Obama is going to learn that the he will not be allowed to throw isreal to the wolves without some blowback….

unseen on June 14, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Even if Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins join the Democrats

Would this be those two “fiscal conservatives” who lament that “social conservatives” have taken over the GOP?

If you’re pro-abort, pro-porkulus, and for an absolute takeover of the US health care system by the federal government… what exactly makes you NOT a Democrat?

mankai on June 14, 2009 at 7:51 PM

You need a prostate or an OB/GYN exam. You arrive at the government clinic that eerily resembles your local DMV. At the front desk you have a large rude person with an attitude. She’s flexing her neck back and forth and chomping on her gum while laughing at your medical chart with the clerk sitting next to her. She gives you your number. You wait and you wait and you wait while Obama infomercials play over and over and over again in the waiting room. You are finally called into an exam room where you are greeted by a doctor who cannot speak English.

I think it goes without sayting that medical care in prison qualifies as goverment care. I have a relative who went to prison. He was hurt and had to see the prison doctor. He went over to the clinic and signed up to see him. It took all day before he was called. There was no nurse coming in to take you blood pressure or temp or ask what the reason of the visit was. He was taken into the doctors office. He was concerned that they might want to give him a tetanaus shot because he was allergic to them. The doctor hardly spoke English. He did not know or understand what a tetanus shot was, but no worry, the doctor was only interested in telling him about a new watch he had just bought. His injury was left to heal on its own. He had a filling fall out so he went to see the dentist. When he walked in there were dozens of teeth that had been pulled and tossed on the floor because it cost to much to fix them. Those who had all their teeth pulled told him they were told they would have dentures in a couple of weeks. Months would go by before they got them and then if they fit they were lucky, since that was ll they were getting. He was lucky. The dentist decided that he could replace the filling. He used the old method of metal filling because that was the latest techology they had. He had to hold a vacume cleaner hose in front of his face to catch the dust. There was no water, or sucksion hoses, or even an assistant. Those were things that cost to much to provide. He caught the flu and went to see the doctor again. The doctor looked at him, took his temperature and decided that he was well enough to work and sent him back. Fortunate for him his guard could tell he wasn’t and told him to go sit it out the rest of the day where no one would notice him. My daughter has a roommate who’s is from England. I was talking to her mother and she told me that was about the way it way is in Great Briton. You can go to a doctor if you have a cold and get someting to help, but for anything else, you have to wait until you can get an appointment. For anything serious they just go to Europe and get the medical care they need, because they can not get it at home.

Franklyn on June 14, 2009 at 7:54 PM

Part of me begins to think that NO ONE out there has any earthly idea how we got to this point.

Progressives have been seeking for nearly 100 years to reshape American life to match their goals and asipirations which is to essentially steal liberty and freedom and profit motive abilities from the individual to have a state that gives equality to all.

The flaw is equality to all comes with some devil’s bargain tradeoffs.

So, ALL OF US MUST find our friends and wake them up. Lots of people I run into just don’t know what the implications are of the train which is coming down the tracks.

The problem is you can’t just scream at someone. They’ll think you’re a whack-job.

So, on my blog, I try to post interesting articles as kind of a “You should know about this” kind of thing”. The blog is at

Katia the Conservative Dachshund

mncons72 on June 14, 2009 at 7:57 PM

It’s stuff like this that makes signing the petition to get Lieberman on the ballot in ’06 so satisfying…

SuperCool on June 14, 2009 at 7:59 PM

American politics would be just fine if Joe Lieberman represented the liberal point of view. But American politics are not fine because Joe Lieberman is just a dissenting voice in a socialist-appeasement Democrat Party.

Phil Byler on June 14, 2009 at 8:00 PM

Here is an example of a government-run system: We’ve all had run-ins with the Motor Vehicle Departments in our states, but how about this? Oklahoma state government decides to change the license plates on all vehicles recently. When you tag expires, you get a new license plate with a new number. The Oklahoma automated toll-collection system (PikePass (also a state run system) — sort of like EZ Pass for you in the NorthEast), starts issuing tickets to all vehicles with new licenses, because the license no longer matches the license number on their records. To fix it, every person in Oklahoma with a Pike Pass has to call in to the PikePass system and register their new license number(s). Now you ask, why couldn’t they just download the new license numbers each month from the the DMV? BECAUSE THIS IS HOW GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRACY WORKS! And this is a STATE system — the Feds are even worse. Now imagine the same kind of thing going on in health care. Now call your congressman and senators and demand an end to Obamacare.

Christian Conservative on June 14, 2009 at 8:01 PM

Keep up the good work, Joe.

myrenovations on June 14, 2009 at 8:02 PM

The Obama says, “Lieberman opposes me? Figures. I mean you know how those old je . . . ummm jerks are.”

Liberman is going to get that call at 3 AM. Obama is on the other end telling him that he has lost confidence in him and has one hour to resign or get thrown under the bus.

Franklyn on June 14, 2009 at 8:13 PM

An utterly inexperienced fringe president with a thoroughly supportive and well documented 20 Year history in full-throated black-supremacist racism,pure anti-Americanism and unabashed antisemitism who actually has anything to say about anything is the real absurdity here!….someone wake me up when this ever evolving horrific clownish nightmare is over!!!

Teebone3 on June 14, 2009 at 8:30 PM

Joementum! It’s stuff like this that make me happy Joe’s still around.

American politics would be just fine if Joe Lieberman represented the liberal point of view. But American politics are not fine because Joe Lieberman is just a dissenting voice in a socialist-appeasement Democrat Party.

Phil Byler on June 14, 2009 at 8:00 PM

Exactly.

Fallen Sparrow on June 14, 2009 at 8:43 PM

I thought “them Jews” were running Ogabe. Didn’t “they” keep Rev Wright away from him?

TugboatPhil on June 14, 2009 at 8:43 PM

The USCIS (formerly known as the INS) changed the printers it used to print green cards. Green cards look like a driver’s licence. Same size, a picture, a name and a fingerprint.

In order to make this change, they had to suspend printing of the cards for 60 days. Yes that’s right 2 months to make the change to the new printers. The cards didn’t get changed mind you, only the printer on which they are printed. And yet this simple change that most corporations can do over lunch, takes the federal government 2 months to complete.

It takes the government 60 days to change a freaking printer. But they’ll be able to run health care efficiently. Yeah, can’t wait.

angryed on June 14, 2009 at 8:50 PM

Anyone know where we can get a list of “blue dogs?”

A complete list of blue dogs in the house is linked to on a post on June 11.

parteagirl on June 14, 2009 at 11:06 PM

Anytime someone interacts with the government, be it a secretary, customer service, office help or whatever–there is always some sort of disdain. Do you have any idea why that is????

The answer is one word—incentive. Now, if my salary and wages depended upon me taking care of customers and was directly related to my wages–then I have significant incentive to take care of customers, patients, etc. However, when I get all paid the same whether I take care of your dead, whiny a$$ or not, and if it’s easier on me if I don’t, then what the hell should I break my back for and take good care of you. Government workers will only provide good customer service if it’s out of the goodness of their hearts–OR–they’re cornered like a rat and threatened with firing to do so.

If I’m an Obamacare provider, and I get paid $50K a year to “see” 30 patients a day—well, patients 1-15 are scheduled from 0800-0915, break, then patients 16-30 are from 0930-1130. Lunch 1130-1300, then I’m doing admin work about all the great care I gave you that morning from 1300-1530. Home by 1600–sweet! Set up a followup appointment for 3 months from now, still sick you say? Okay, 2.5 months. Here’s your tylenol—have a good one…!

ted c on June 14, 2009 at 11:11 PM

If I’m an Obamacare provider, and I get paid $50K a year to “see” 30 patients a day—well, patients 1-15 are scheduled from 0800-0915, break, then patients 16-30 are from 0930-1130. Lunch 1130-1300, then I’m doing admin work about all the great care I gave you that morning from 1300-1530. Home by 1600–sweet!

…and middle of night emergencies and weekends..ha, ha, ha…shiftwork doctors coming right up.

txmomof6 on June 14, 2009 at 11:34 PM

Poor Joe is gonna get audited by the IRS now.

infidel4life on June 15, 2009 at 2:01 AM

Well, Joe is wrong.

AnninCA on June 15, 2009 at 3:24 AM

AnninCA on June 14, 2009 at 4:30 PM
.
Tell me thoughts on global warming/change
before I measure your views on health care.

Americannodash on June 14, 2009 at 4:37 PM
.

Well, Joe is wrong.
AnninCA on June 15, 2009 at 3:24 AM

.
What you have set forth so far does not persuade me.
,
What is the Obama administrations hurry? You have not counter-pointed any of the existing rhetoric on this thread thus far. Neither will you win this by saying “your wrong and I, AnnCA, is right on this issue.
.
Entrall me with your “return on investment”, “rationing of services”, “lack of competion of capital investment”. Go on Ann. Who or how is this health care, going to be run by or is paying that down the road cost for this ponzi scheme? I want to have it because it feels good isn’t enough. Try to think like an responsible adult. What could be free for you is not the remainder of the populations responsibilty. I’ll be waiting for your response………

Americannodash on June 15, 2009 at 4:18 AM

Sometimes Joe make me glad I voted for him!

ctmom on June 15, 2009 at 7:28 AM

if you want to say “Go Joe”!

ctmom on June 15, 2009 at 7:30 AM

Joe better watch his back. After all he’s just another old white guy to the One.

Kissmygrits on June 15, 2009 at 9:12 AM

Well, Joe is wrong.

AnninCA on June 15, 2009 at 3:24 AM

Ahhh. Excellent analysis and counter argument. You’ve convinced me Ann. I am now on the socialist bandwagon.

angryed on June 15, 2009 at 9:27 AM

Major private insurance companies are based in Connecticut. Lieberman would be a fool to support a government program that could cost his state thousands of jobs.

rockmom on June 15, 2009 at 10:26 AM

Poor Joe is gonna get audited by the IRS now.

infidel4life on June 15, 2009 at 2:01 AM

Just wait until Obama pulls the final sellout of Israel. They’ll really have to put a muzzle on Lieberman.

rockmom on June 15, 2009 at 10:27 AM

rockmom on June 15, 2009 at 10:26 AM

Chris Dodd (the other CT Senator) on the other hand seems to have no worries about pesky those pesky job losses. He is full steam ahead on the plan that will require my DMV type clerk to decide when I can and cannot see a doctor.

The only silver lining I see in all of this: CT voted for DER OBAMA so the schadenfreude is delicious in that aspect.

angryed on June 15, 2009 at 1:04 PM

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