Few politicians have disgusted me as much as Joe Lieberman. As both a Democrat and a Jew, I have found myself consistently ashamed to have anything seemingly in common with this man. And though we may share a religious/cultural upbringing, I do not, in fact, subscribe to Lieberman’s religious beliefs as I do not follow any traditional belief system, nor do I believe in god in any traditional sense of the word. I also do not consider Lieberman to be a Democrat. Regardless of what he calls himself. Perhaps he is a Democrat in the pre-Roosevelt sense of the word, but in any contemporary definition, he is extremely conservative and much-aligned with the Republican Party. His actions during the last presidential election are proof enough, though the rest of his career, both previous and since, supports this claim.
And now the disgusting Joe Lieberman once again aligns himself with the party he claims NOT to be a member of. Lieberman stated today that he would join a GOP filibuster to prevent voting on Health Care if a Public Option were to be included. Once again, this man turns his back on both his party and all that it stands for. The public option is just that: an option. It is not a replacement of the current system of privatized insurance. But it would give the American people another choice of health care while keeping costs down across the board. So why do you think Mr. Lieberman is opposed to this notion? It shouldn’t take you long to figure it out. But while you’re thinking about it, let me just mention that the insurance industry is rather heavily concentrated in the Senator’s home state of Connecticut.
Lieberman has also stated that he would oppose Republican Senator Olympia Snowe’s suggested compromise of the public option to be slowly triggered into effect. Yes, kids, Lieberman may be the single individual who keeps the public option from coming to pass. His vote may be the one vote Democrats need.
Strangely enough, Mr. Lieberman has voted on three separate occasions to STOP filibusters on bills he opposed. So what has made him such a strong supporter of a filibuster on this particular bill?
Mr. Lieberman claims his reasons for attacking the Public Option are his fear that it would be costly to taxpayers, drive up insurance premiums, involve cost-shifting to private plans, create an entitlement, increase the national debt, and put more of a tax burden on taxpayers.
Oddly enough, the Congressional Budget Office concluded that the option would, in fact, SAVE money for the government upwards of $100 billion over 10 years. It would also cost taxpayers NOTHING as it is set up to be financed by individual premiums. So where does Mr. Lieberman derive his fears from? The same fears that should have been put to rest ages ago? No, there’s something else at work here. Wonder what it could be…
Did I mention that he is also opposed to the suggested notion of an opt-out version of the public option wherein individual states can decide to opt-out of offering the public option after one year if they don’t like where it’s going. Hmmm… That seems like a win-win for everyone, doesn’t it? If your fears come to pass, put a stop to it immediately. If they don’t, then all Americans get affordable, top-quality health care and insurance premiums go down and less people die.
But Mr. Lieberman’s not willing to even give it a try. And why would THAT be? Perhaps, it may be fear that the plan might actually work. And then who loses? The insurance companies insomuch as they don’t make quite as much money (though they would still make trillions) and Mr. Lieberman’s wallet may shrink somewhat in the process (though not enough to endanger his estate).
As for Lieberman’s other concerns… According to Next Hurrah, Daily Kos, and Huffington Post blogger Marcy Wheeler:
Now, there’s the possibility that if the public option was set at Medicare +5, there might be cost shifting, if you ignored challenges to that claim, if you ignored the way insurance companies will game the system to push high cost people into the public option, and if you ignored the many other ways the insurance companies will be cost shifting themselves once this system is set up.
But everything else Lieberman said is horse puckey. He is either completely ignorant about health care works (unlikely, for a Senator from Connecticut). Or, he’s lying his ass off as to his rationale.
I’m leaning toward the latter…