Daily Health Care News – 12/14/09
Lieberman Rules Out Voting for Health Bill – New York Times
In a surprise setback for Democratic leaders, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, said on Sunday that he would vote against the health care legislation in its current form.
Senate Democrats who thought they had found a workable compromise on health care reform learned otherwise from independent Sen. Joe Lieberman over the weekend.
Rural leaders: Senate health care plan would help rural Nebraska – Grand Island Independent
With the Senate debating health care reform, Nebraska rural, farm and other organizations are urging lawmakers, including U.S. Sens. Ben Nelson and Mike Johanns of Nebraska, to pass a reform package that places an emphasis on the acute problems farmers and rural Americans face in accessing affordable, quality health insurance.
Medicare ‘buy-in’: A bargain or burden? – USA Today
Phil Tredway was intrigued when he heard the latest health insurance proposal making the rounds in Congress: letting people buy into Medicare starting at age 55.
Welcome to the Lieberman Administration – Matt Yglesias
Looks like Joe Lieberman decided to try for the old double-cross and say he now opposes the Medicare expansion compromise he’d hinted he would support. Lieberman wants no public option, no trigger that might create a public option, and no expansion of existing programs as a substitute for a public option. And he doesn’t care about expressing that view in misleading ways, timed to cause embarrassment to the Democratic leadership. And, frankly, unlike some other troublesome Democratic Senators one can hardly be all that surprised that he’s making problems for the Obama administration’s #1 domestic priority. After all, Lieberman took the view that John McCain would be the better President.
Public Plan Perversion – Jacob Hacker
"Godfather of the public option…endorsed the Medicare buy-in compromise." That was the crucial opening line of a blog post Wednesday. It sounds pretty noteworthy: The guy who brought you the public option supports killing the public option. Only he doesn’t, and I should know, because "the guy" is me.
Joe Lieberman: Let’s not make a deal! – Ezra Klein
The Huffington Post and Roll Call are both reporting that Joe Lieberman notified Harry Reid that he will filibuster health-care reform if the final bill includes an expansion of Medicare. Previously, Lieberman had been cool to the idea, saying he wanted to make sure it wouldn’t increase the deficit or harm Medicare’s solvency (and previously to that, he supported it as part of the Gore/Lieberman health-care plan). That comforted some observers, as the CBO is expected to say it will do neither. Someone must have given Lieberman a heads-up on that, as he’s decided to make his move in advance of the CBO score, the better to ensure the facts of the policy couldn’t impede his opposition to it.
Did Lieberman Double-Cross Reid? – Jon Cohn
On Sunday morning, Senator Joe Lieberman announced on CBS "Face the Nation" that he would "have a hard time voting for" a reform bill if it allowed some workers over 55 to buy Medicare coverage. Later, in a private meeting with Majority Leader Harry Reid, Lieberman delivered an even stronger message.
Just days after signaling that he would not oppose a Medicare buy-in, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) announced yesterday that he would vote against the health care bill if it included the measure. Appearing on Face the Nation, Lieberman told host Bob Schieffer that he did not know “exactly what’s in it” but pledged to oppose the Medicare buy in “because it has some of the same infirmities that the public option did”:
(compiled for Health Care for America Now)