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White House Tells Reid to Cut Deal with Lieberman, Ditch Medicare Buy-In

It’s quite convenient that what Joe Lieberman is demanding — no public option, no Medicare buy-in — happens to look just like the Senate Finance Committee bill that the White House wrote with Baucus.  Now the White House is saying Reid should take it:

W.H. to Reid: Cut deal with Lieberman

The White House is encouraging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to cut a deal with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and eliminate the proposed Medicare expansion in the health reform bill, according to an official close to the negotiations.

But Reid is described as so frustrated with Lieberman that he is not ready to sacrifice a key element of the health care bill, and first wants to see the Congressional Budget Office cost analysis of the Medicare buy-in. The analysis is expected early this week.

“There is a weariness and a lot of frustration that one person is holding up the will of 59 others,” the official said. “There is still too much anger and confusion at one particular senator’s reversal.”

Joe gets his way by giving Obama what he wanted anyway.  Sweet.  The weak and ineffectual/corrupt Reid will no doubt find a way to do just that.  And Byron Dorgan’s drug reimportation bill that Harry Reid is blocking from coming to the floor?  Well, we probably won’t see that either.  Because it’s not part of the White House’s PhRMA deal, it can’t be in the bill.  And if we’ve discovered one thing, it’s that the White House and Harry Reid will do anything to deliver on those secret deals.

Sorry, Harry Reid, you’re the one that takes the hit for this.  If you let Lieberman lead you and the country around by the nose, it doesn’t matter who asked you to do it.  Slipping in “annual limits” on coverage, manipulating procedure only when there’s something you really want, and then shrugging your shoulders and calling yourself a prisoner of the Senate parlimentarian when you want to facilitate some massively unpopular clause in the interest of the insurance industry — it’s all going to come to rest on you.  Personally.  I promise.

Sane people have long ago realized that coddling Lieberman is what got us here and needs to be stopped.

If you want to let the health care establishment know that they sacrifice their credibility by continuing to embrace and financially support Lieberman and his wife Hadassah, sign the petition to the Susan G. Komen Foundation telling them to stop giving them money raised for cancer research.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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