Joe Lieberman Is Obstructing Meaningful Health Reform: Time to Kick Him Off the Team

Lieberman today told Don Imus that he wouldn't support the Baucus bill. So much for consensus.

Looks to me like we've got us a new King:

Asked by radio host Don Imus today what aspects of the Senate Finance Committee’s health care bill he supported, Lieberman struck a negative tone, saying, “I’m concerned that there’s a danger that we’re trying to do too much”:

LIEBERMAN: I’ve been saying for a couple of months now that I’m concerned, that I’m concerned that there’s a danger that we’re trying to do too much here and the president is trying to do two good things. But doing them at once in the middle of a recession may be hard to pull off. And the two good things are to bend the cost of health care down by changing a lot of the ways health care is delivered. The second thing is to cover some of the people, millions of people, who are not covered with insurance. So, this puts us in the position where you say, on the one hand, what we’re about to do in adopting health care reform will, will reduce the cost of health insurance from what it would otherwise be and the other hand you say, oh incidentally, we’re going to raise your taxes or cut your Medicare to the tune of $900 billion or a trillion. And people are beginning to think that maybe they’d do better holding on to what they have now.

Lieberman added that he thinks “we should really focus on what’s being called health care delivery reform.” Asked later by Imus if he specifically supported Sen. Max Baucus’ (D-MT) health care reform bill, Lieberman said, “no”:

IMUS: Do you support the Baucus bill?

LIEBERMAN: Not, not, no. I mean, not the way it is now.

IMUS: Ok, what about it don’t you like?

LIEBERMAN: Well, here’s my concern, as I watch the way it took shape. And it goes back to these two things we’re trying to do at once. I’m afraid that in the end, the Baucus bill is actually going to raise the price of insurance for most of the people in the country because most of the people in our country have health insurance, either private or Medicare or Medicaid or veteran’s benefits.

Now we know why they are courting Snowe like she's the second coming. This asshole is clearly going to show the Democrats who they messed with and vote with the Republicans every step of the way. He's off the team entirely.

It's long past time to strip him of his chairmanship and lock him out of all strategy meetings. If he gets mad, who gives a shit? It's impossible to believe that there's any benefit to having him vote with caucus anymore. 60 doesn't mean 60, that's for sure.

I wonder if Obama has any regrets at this point about supporting Lieberman against Lamont?

Remember this, from the 2006 campaign?

"I know that some in the party have differences with Joe," Senator Obama said, all but silencing the crowd. "I'm going to go ahead and say it. It's the elephant in the room. And Joe and I don't agree on everything. But what I know is, Joe Lieberman's a man with a good heart, with a keen intellect, who cares about the working families of America."

Then, with applause beginning to build, he finished the thought: "I am absolutely certain that Connecticut's going to have the good sense to send Joe Lieberman back to the United States Senate."

Digby is the proprietor of Hullabaloo.
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