Breaking: Lieberman wins, Senate drops Medicare buy-in

posted at 7:10 pm on December 14, 2009 by Allahpundit

Major Garrett’s in the hall outside the Democratic caucus room and tweeting the word from Tom Harkin. Can’t really call this good news, as it makes passage much more likely, so let’s call it slightly-better-than-worst-case-scenario news. No more public option:

Asked by a reporter if the Medicare buy-in will be pulled out, Harkin said “looks that way,” before praising a Democratic health care bill without the two public option compromises.

“There’s enough good in this bill that even without those two, we gotta move,” he said. “All the insurance reforms, all the stuff we wrote so hard for prevention and wellness in there, the workforce development issues that we have in there, the reimbursement based on quality not on quantity — there’s good stuff in this bill. It’s a giant step forward, changing the paradigm of health care in America.”

Lieberman said he can (read: will) vote for the bill without the public plan provisions. Reaction, straight off the top of my head: (1) Kind of surprising that neither Snowe nor Collins defected to bail Reid out, eh? Now that he’s back to 60-ish, I wonder if they or Nelson, Bayh, Lincoln, etc. will suddenly ramp up their own demands. (2) The Democrats are so frantic to pass something at this point — e.g., there was a rumor floated earlier today that Emanuel was pressuring Reid to use reconciliation — that Pelosi will almost certainly want to ping-pong the Senate bill. Will the absence of a public option convince Blue Dogs who voted no on the House bill to vote yes this time or will the gruesome polling scare them away? If they do vote yes, are there enough of them to make up for the number of House progressives who will surely vote no this time? (3) Further to the last point, what about the abortion conflict now? The House bill banned abortion funding, the Senate bill allows it. If Bart Stupak and his pro-life Blue Dogs are serious, they can probably kill the whole project. I wonder if Reid will let Nelson reintroduce an abortion funding ban in the Senate and force it through to eliminate that problem. I still don’t see how they’re getting this all done by New Year’s, though.

For your enjoyment, here’s video of Lieberman from September explaining why he kind of likes the idea of a, er, Medicare buy-in. His spokesman tried to explain the apparent flip-flop, but I prefer the “he screwed the Democrats just to screw them” theory. Makes me smile.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


This is even worse. Now Liberman will sign this Mother Trucking bill. We are screwed folks!!!!! I hate a Obama….yes I said it…..I hate the bastard!!!!!!

Winebabe on December 15, 2009 at 8:51 AM

Think twice about anything being dropped from the fine print in footnotes, Lieberman.

Don’t be a sucker.

maverick muse on December 15, 2009 at 9:08 AM

Which douchetroll is it that likes to remind us “Lieberman still caucases with the Democrats” and how it’s all good in the Democrat family? Simpleton? Crrvix?

Curious how that’s working out for them from a strictly “Talking Points” position…

Jaibones on December 15, 2009 at 9:13 AM

Don’t believe everything you hear. The Senate Democrats are not on the verge of a collapse. They are on the verge of compromising every single thing they want just so they can get a “health care reform” bill passed.

Here’s what I’m being told:

The Democrats have given Joe Lieberman everything he wanted. Joe will now vote for the bill.

Ben Nelson (D-NE) is being threatened with having every major military installation in Nebraska shut down. Yes, I know, but the Democrats are playing for keeps on this and health care “reform” is more important to them than the military.

Liberals are being told they have to accept this to give them any credibility going into next year’s election. They don’t want to be accused of “killing reform.”

Lastly, the CBO scoring of the bill is going to look fine now that the Medicare affecting portions are going to be dropped.

Inevitably, this legislation is going to cause health care costs to skyrocket and force people into socialized medicine.

But Barack Obama and the Democrats don’t care. They want to be seen as doing something and beating the Republicans — with what, they don’t care.

Redstate. Kathryn Lopez at NRO reports the same thing.

Nelson may get some tweaked abortion language in the manager’s amendment.

Wethal on December 15, 2009 at 9:17 AM

Call your Senators!

simon on December 15, 2009 at 9:20 AM

So is hope gone? Is there anything we can do that will actually accomplish something? I’d love to call my senator, but if they were actually listening to us we wouldn’t be in this position in the first place.

ConDem on December 15, 2009 at 9:46 AM

So…. what’s the catch? Got to be something. These people are as devious as they come.

ultracon on December 15, 2009 at 10:01 AM

This is a nuance. The bill is over 2000 pages long and what’s in it gives the bill’s administrators huge discretion to enact whatever they want. Sebelius is mentioned over 2300 times in this bill. She will be the most powerful person next to the president and his motley czars after taking over one-sixth of our economy. When this bill is signed, the only recourse the people have is to overwhelmingly vote in the right direction in 2010 and try to change it later, beginning with the new taxes.

Nalea on December 15, 2009 at 10:07 AM

Gotta Love Joe!

walker_ro on December 15, 2009 at 10:08 AM

Wasn’t one of the spineless R Senators supposed to object to waiving of reading the bill, and force the chamber to read the entire POS legislation? Wouldn’t this take several days?

pablo5108 on December 15, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Does anyone on Capital Hill have a #%*@& brain?

PappaMac on December 15, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Kathryn Lopez at NRO reports the same thing.

Not seeing this at the Corner…was it from yesterday?

Missy on December 15, 2009 at 10:55 AM

Oops, sorry, never mind. It’s on their Critical Condition blog.

Missy on December 15, 2009 at 10:56 AM

The White House and Democratic Leadership in the Senate has told Senator Nelson they will close every military base in Nebraska — a threat that is not credible, really — but they have also offered Senator Nelson between $300 billion to $500 billion in earmarks, according to key hill health care operatives. These hundreds of billions will be available for whatever he wants to spend them on in Nebraska.

Given Senator Nelson’s hard core earmarking history as an appropriator, the word on the street is that this is the real carrot that could get Nelson to agree to some cover amendment that would allege to protect the innocent unborn from government funding of abortion, but, in fact, would not.

Unless a Sanders or Burris — or some other liberal — objects to the bill having no public option, then if Nelson holds the bill dies, and if Nelson does not hold, the bill passes. Given that the Dems have caved to Lieberman — this is the whole ball game — Senator Nelson. The Dem leadership could still win without Nelson, if they got Snowe since there is no public option, or they could cave to Nelson like they did to with Lieberman, and like the Speaker did with Stupak, and add in the abortion restrictions, but this would tempt fate since their liberal base would have to swallow both no public option and abortion restrictions.

The next 36 hours are key to this fight, given the fact the Dems caved to Lieberman. It’s all about Nelson now, plain and simple. Will he do what his constituents want and kill the bill, or will he take the cash?


Wethal on December 15, 2009 at 10:57 AM

This is even worse. Now Liberman will sign this Mother Trucking bill. We are screwed folks!!!!! I hate Obama….yes I said it…..I hate the bastard!!!!!!

Winebabe on December 15, 2009 at 8:51 AM</blockquote

I feel ya sister, I am sure millions of people share your sentiment. It is an easy hate due to the direction he is taking the USA.

royzer on December 15, 2009 at 11:06 AM

This is even worse. Now Liberman will sign this Mother Trucking bill. We are screwed folks!!!!! I hate a Obama….yes I said it…..I hate the bastard!!!!!!

Winebabe on December 15, 2009 at 8:51 AM

Hating him is not racist if you hate the white half just as much.

Crusader Rabbit on December 15, 2009 at 11:20 AM

but they have also offered Senator Nelson between $300 billion to $500 billion in earmarks

Billion…seriously? Or was that supposed to be million?

Robert_Paulson on December 15, 2009 at 11:21 AM

I knew I should’ve invest in liquor stocks…

lovingmyUSA on December 15, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Lieberman, like Gore, just can’t get the taste of self promoting potus campaign under control. Far fetched prediction would replace Obama (to get the boot) with Lieberman leading the DNC POTUS ticket. Hillary will rue her “reset” overcharge decision to forfeit her senate seat.

The US Dept. of Health is already flunking. Government officials mandate unqualified vaccinations that magically lose potency within a few months. Either the vaccines in question never measured the appropriate content, or they were contaminated to begin with, requiring the recall and cover story.

Health officials are recalling hundreds of thousands of doses of swine flu vaccine after tests indicated they may not be potent enough to protect against the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified doctors Tuesday about the swine flu vaccine recall involving 800,000 doses, Sanofi Pasteur mfg. Health officials, who recommended children ages 3 months to 6 years get two doses spaced about a month apart, have not kept records as to how many doses have already been given.

[LOL:]BUT they don’t think children need to be re-vaccinated. The lots passed potency tests when they were first shipped, but tests indicate the potency waned after.

maverick muse on December 15, 2009 at 12:28 PM

‘Why would Congress go ahead and pass what is overwhelmingly rejected by American voters?’

What is the Obama offer today that Senate Democrats can’t refuse?

As butcher, this administration is promising any who vote against EugeniCare political assassination at the hand of the DNC and its many illegitimate and legitimate alliances. So by attempting to save their re-election chances with the public, those who vote against Obama will become dead meat with re-election campaigns that will be targeted to fall not only by the DNC but by every liberal political operative including those who stuff ballot boxes and register illegal voters.

Whereas, if these doubting Thomas Congressional Democrats vote FOR EugeniCare and lose their re-election having enraged their constituents who vote them OUT, OBAMA HAS A NEW JOB WAITING FOR THEM ADMINISTRATING EUGENICARE.

maverick muse on December 15, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Joe can see the writing on the wall for the 2010 midterms. This lurch to the left is going to lose seats in both houses for the dems. Joe is looking forward to getting his just rewards for helping the reps kill this traitorous health care debacle (among other socialist agendas the dems want to pass).

csdeven on December 15, 2009 at 12:58 PM


If it drags out even longer the less time they have to push their other crap!!!!

Keep pushing you magnificient Caliph!!!!


PappyD61 on December 15, 2009 at 1:09 PM

THis is frightening though, and outright extortion!

Source: Dems Threaten Nelson In Pursuit of 60
Read the whole story ehre:

walker_ro on December 15, 2009 at 1:14 PM

Just got home from the health care rally. The head of Americans for Prosperity and a couple of his co-horts were making the rounds in the senate offices and were told the senators weren’t available. The AFP guy politely said, “That’s okay. We’ll wait.”

Well! At Lieberman’s office, they were allowed to wait all of three minutes, then the staff said they were calling the cops.

So now the general public can’t wait in a taxpayer-funded official’s office? AFP said they’re going to see this goes viral.

sabu on December 15, 2009 at 10:35 PM

That messiah guy
His halo’s turning green
He got his job
By playing nice
But now,
He’s turned quite mean

Don L on December 16, 2009 at 5:19 AM

I’m sure all of this has been said already, but…

I’m still wondering if anyone thought this wouldn’t get passed?

The Dems have always had the 60 votes. All of this meandering posturing from supposed moderates was always bullshinola. It was always to give cover to those who said they’d vote against it.

I may be a bit fuzzy on procedure, but once this gets passed with 60, this bill and the House bill would then go to committee, right? Everything which has been taken out to garner votes for cloture will be put back in in some form or fashion.

After it comes out of committee, all they need in the Senate for passage is a simple majority – they won’t need any of the ‘moderates’ – who can then vote no and say, “Hey, I tried” and it gets passed in the form the radicals always wanted anyway.

The time to stop this monster was on the vote to “bring it to debate” a few weeks ago. Once that vote was done, the 60 votes were secured for passage.

Now it’s just a matter of time. Will they have it done before the end of this year or right before the POTUS SOTU speech next month?

catmman on December 16, 2009 at 9:52 AM

Maybe a bit late to pose this, but in retrospect… was Lieberman acting on instructions from Obama?

bloviator on December 16, 2009 at 10:50 AM