Lieberman's Latest B.S. Excuse for Opposing Health Reform
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That Joe Lieberman would rather kill health care reform than let some consumer choose between competing public and private plans isn't exactly new. I continue to find it fascinating, though, to see his evolving explanations.
In June, Lieberman said, "I don't favor a public option because I think there's plenty of competition in the private insurance market." That didn't make sense, and it was quickly dropped from his talking points.
In July, Lieberman said he opposes a public option because "the public is going to end up paying for it." No one could figure out exactly what that meant, and the senator moved onto other arguments.
In August, he said we'd have to wait "until the economy's out of recession," which is incoherent, since a public option, even if passed this year, still wouldn't kick in for quite a while.
In September, Lieberman said he opposes a public option because "the public doesn't support it." A wide variety of credible polling proved otherwise.
In October, Lieberman said the public option would mean "trouble ... for the national debt," by creating "a whole new government entitlement program." Soon after, Jon Chait explained that this "literally makes no sense whatsoever."
Well, it's November. And guess what? We're onto the sixth rationale in six months. I actually like the new one.
"This is a radical departure from the way we've responded to the market in America in the past," Lieberman said Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press." "We rely first on competition in our market economy. When the competition fails then what do we do? We regulate or we litigate.... We have never before said, in a given business, we don't trust the companies in it, so we're going to have the government go into that business.."
Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal . His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."