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Dunk The Donut Hole in a Cuppa No Show Joe

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The latest Rasmussen poll has Ned Lamont within 2 points of Joe Lieberman, a statistical dead heat.  (GOP candidate Alan Schlesinger is polling at 5% — wonder who the de facto GOP candidate is, don’t you?  *cough* Lieberman *cough*)  It’s going to be a down to the wire race — with GOTV efforts making the real difference on the ground in Connecticut.

Let’s take a moment this morning to contemplate No Show Joe’s non-votes on the Medicare donut hole fiasco — and how that is going to cause problems for all of Connecticut’s senior citizens who are dealing with the mess that is Medicare Part D.  From the Hartford Courant regarding Ned Lamont:

"I’ve never heard as much political noise as I’ve heard this year," health care activist Juan Figueroa said. "I think it’s a great issue. Our own polls suggest this is very high on the anxiety list of a lot of voters. People are worried about being a paycheck away from losing health care."

On Monday, Lamont toured Optimus Health Care, a busy, federally subsidized clinic on East Main Street, where about one-third of the patients are uninsured. Federal funding has been cut 1 percent, while costs have risen 14 percent in recent years….

Lamont, the founder of a cable- television company, has proposed a universal health care plan in which employers would be required to provide coverage for all workers or contribute to a federal plan. Workers and businesses would be allowed to pool together to negotiate lower rates.

"I think it’s a natural issue for Ned Lamont," Williams said. "He is an employer. He has made payrolls and understands the need to attract and keep good employees."

Let’s contrast Ned Lamont’s practical, hands-on experience at actually doing his job with Joe Lieberman for a moment, shall we?

During the 2003 consideration of President Bush’s destructive Medicare Part D bill, Sen. Joe Lieberman issued 8 press releases claiming he was outraged about the legislation and promising to do whatever he could to stop it. Yet, when it came time to vote on the bill and on amendments to fix the bill, Lieberman was nowhere to be found. He attended just 4 out of the Senate’s 38 votes on the Medicare bill, opting instead to hold fundraisers in California for himself so that he could add to the more than $1.8 million in health industry campaign contributions he has raked in over the last 6 years. By contrast, Ned Lamont has refused corporate and union PAC contributions, and has said it’s time for a Senator from Connecticut who isn’t afraid to show up, cast votes, and fight for real health care reform.

AS DONUT HOLE DAY APPROACHES, REMEMBER – LIEBERMAN SKIPPED THE BIG VOTE TO CLOSE THE DONUT HOLE: This Friday is “National Donut Hole Day” – the day where the average Medicare recipient is cut off from Medicare’s drug benefit because Congress left a gaping hole in coverage. When legislation was proposed in 2003 to close the donut hole, Lieberman skipped the close vote, thus allowing the donut hole to be created. Thanks to that vote, millions of Medicare recipients are now being cut off from prescription drug coverage once they incur drug expenses of more than $2,250. Drug coverage resumes only after seniors incur $5,100 in total drug costs, meaning they have to come up with $2,850 out of pocket – a sum that many Medicare recipients simply do not have. [Sources: Senate Roll Call Vote #236, 6/24/03; Hartford Courant, 6/25/03; Americans United For Change, National Donut Hole Day]

Um…yeah. Re-elect Lieberman so he can continue to not show up for work and line his campaign pockets with money from the very people from whom Connecticut’s seniors need some oversight and accountability. Got it.

Go Ned.

For more on the medicare donut hole crisis, see this from the SEIU and what they are pushing for their members and workers across the US.  See this from the National Chamber of Commerce.    As a former business owner myself, I am well aware of the difficulties that small business owners and employers have in trying to secure cost-effective health insurance for employees — it’s a nightmare, and it has gotten much worse since I was in private practice.  But allowing the status quo to continue — by not showing up for votes and doing the work that needs to be done — is appalling given the magnitude of the problem.  Shame on No Show Joe!

(H/T to Holden of First Draft on the Rasmussen link.)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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