Lieberman: Let’s Do Health Care Reform in Steps, and Save the 50 Million Uninsured for the Last Step

On CNN today, Sen. Joe Lieberman embraced the incremental approach to health care reform (emphasis in original):

Last week, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), the most conservative member of the so-called bipartisan “Gang of Six” working on the Senate Finance Committee’s health care bill, stated that he preferred that Congress deal with reform incrementally. “I think the only way it will happen is we need to break it down into smaller parts than we have now and put it through one at a time,” he said.

Today on CNN, Sen. Joe Lieberman (CT), an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats, embraced Enzi’s idea. “Great changes in our country often have come in steps. The Civil Rights movement occurred, changes occurred in steps,” he argued. Lieberman added that Congress should address the nearly 50 million uninsured at some point down the road:

LIEBERMAN: Morally, everyone of us would like to cover every American with health insurance but that’s where you spend most of the trillion dollars plus, or a little less that is estimated, the estimate said this health care plan will cost. And I’m afraid we’ve got to think about putting a lot of that off until the economy is out of recession. There’s no reason we have to do it all now.

Later, host John King asked Lieberman if he would vote with the Democrats if the reconciliation process is used to pass health care. “I think it’s a real mistake to try to jam through the total health insurance reform,” Lieberman said, adding, “It’s just not good for the system. Frankly, it won’t be good for the Obama presidency.”

Frankly, it wouldn’t be good for Joe Lieberman’s bank account, either.

  

Author: KATHY KATTENBURG

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19 Comments

  1. How you tell when politician lie?

    Comrade Pelosi blink

    Slick Willy rub nose

    Comrade Obama open mouth

    Dumb Donkey Gibbs laugh…Hehaw..he..haw..he..haw!

    Is this really health care “reform”?

    Compare Obama Care vs Igor Care at Obama vs Igor Care

    I Igor produce Barrack Milhaus Hussein Obama Birth Certificate at http://www.igormarxo.org

  2. I always liked Lieberamnn, the man taks sense, pragmatism, and bi-partisanship.

  3. I always liked Lieberamnn, the man taks sense, pragmatism, and bi-partisanship.

    BTW Kathy he didn't say “Save the 50 million uninsured for the last step” nice strawman.

  4. I don't know that he's wrong about this, Kathy. One can argue both for and against the enormous expenditures to date to fight the recession, but the fact of the matter is that the spending happened. And it was rather a lot. And although lots of folks are optimistic, the another fact of the matter is that we are actually still in that recession.

    Dismiss it as you wish, but people really, truly are not comfortable with the pace of the outflow. It's part of what's behind the vast pushback.

  5. The problem with Lieberman's argument, as Matthew Yglesias argues today, is that the health care bill ALREADY phases in. The public option, for example, doesn't even begin until 2013. Lord help us if we're still in a recession in 2013. The reason for phasing this in – deficit neutrality.

    If there was an actual plan to spend a trillion dollars right away on this then I could see Lieberman's point. But right now it looks likes High Broderism at its worst – “People are upset so we must slow down.” As if that stopped him with the Iraq war…

  6. Hey Joe Lieberman, read my lips,

    “NO”. We want the un watered-down public option. No compromise. Your step-system is just another version of MedMobs strivings to tool this thing for future revamping when the GOP gets reseated in bigger numbers. We know how it works. There is no compromise this time, none, cash in your MedMob lobbying money and tell them you're sorry you couldn't ram it through..

  7. “We want the un watered-down public option.”

    “We” is a minority.

  8. BTW Kathy he didn't say “Save the 50 million uninsured for the last step” nice strawman, also kinda ironic given the title of Dorian's post above yours.

    Exactly Leonidas. FACT: He didn't say 'Save the 50 million uninsured for the last step.' ” TRUTH: He has no interest in ever dealing with the 50 million uninsured, or the 60 million, or the 70 million. When the recession is over, he will have another excuse. If you take Lieberman at his word and think he is being sincere when he says we have to wait for the recession to be over before we do something to insure the uninsured, then you are looking at the literal FACT of what he said, and not the actual TRUTH of what he meant. The truth is not what people say; it's what they do.

    I don't know that he's wrong about this, Kathy. One can argue both for and against the enormous expenditures to date to fight the recession, but the fact of the matter is that the spending happened. And it was rather a lot. And although lots of folks are optimistic, another fact of the matter is that we are actually still in that recession.

    Yes, the fact of the matter is that the spending happened, and the truth of the matter is that it should have been more. Yes, the fact of the matter is that we are still in the recession, but the truth of the matter is that this recession has been going on for years now, and it's going to take more than six or seven months to not “be in it” anymore.

    Here's another fact, Polimom. The existence of 50 million Americans who lack health insurance is a major factor behind the recession. Obviously, it didn't *cause* the recession, but it's a sizable part of the deficit that Obama inherited from the Bush administration, and it makes recovery harder. And here is the truth that comes out of that fact, Polimom. Waiting until the recession is over to pass reforms that will insure the uninsured actually guarantees that the recession will go on far longer than it would otherwise. This country *cannot recover* from the recession it's in when 50 million Americans have no health insurance coverage.

    I assure you that Lieberman knows that. He's not concerned abut the effect of health care reform on the recession at all. He's concerned about the effect of universal coverage for all uninsured Americans on the insurance industry in whose pocket he is snugly ensconced.

  9. Joe won his seat without the support of that particular “We” do you think he cares what that “We” thinks now?

    I don't understand how the same person who wrote the above could also have written this: “BTW Kathy he didn't say “Save the 50 million uninsured for the last step” nice strawman,…”

  10. If there was an actual plan to spend a trillion dollars right away on this then I could see Lieberman's point. But right now it looks likes High Broderism at its worst – “People are upset so we must slow down.” As if that stopped him with the Iraq war..

    That's an even better point than I made.

  11. @ Kathy,

    “… you are looking at the literal FACT of what he said, and not the actual TRUTH of what he meant”

    So did how bad was the pain inside the black box when the Gom Jabbar was at your throat during your training to become a Bene Gesserit Truthsayer?

  12. “Lieberman said, adding, “It’s just not good for the system. Frankly, it won’t be good for the Obama presidency.”'

    Oh so now he's worried about the Obama presidency. Why doesn't he use his influence with Republicans and have them reign in their lies about the healthcare reform? (It's a rhetorical and sarcastic question.)

  13. I don't need to possess magical powers to know that when Joe Lieberman says we should put off plans to insure the uninsured until after the recession, he really wants to put them off indefinitely. All you need to do is the minimal research needed to know that last year Joe Lieberman received $8 million from the finance, real estate, and insurance industries. $8 mil buys an awful lot of eagerness to put off health insurance coverage for 50 million uninsured Americans, Leonidas.

    It's called follow the money, Leonidas.

  14. Oh facts are a pesky thing Kathy here are a few

    First off, who has recieved more money from the insurance industry than Liebermann?

    McCain, John (R-AZ) $2,894,353
    Obama, Barack (D) $2,458,347
    Dodd, Chris (D-CT) $2,251,646
    Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) $1,881,165
    Kerry, John (D-MA) $1,396,617
    Santorum, Rick (R-PA)$1,267,850
    Nelson, Ben (D-NE) $1,231,299
    Baucus, Max (D-MT) $1,190,463
    Schumer, Charles E (D-NY)$1,073,200
    Specter, Arlen (D-PA) $1,055,655
    Lieberman, Joe (I-CT) $1,033,402

    So do you think Obama, Chris Dodd, Hilliary Clinton, John Kerry, Ben Nelson, Max Bacus, Chuck Schumer, and Arlen Specter have been bought off as well? I mean thats what you see if you follow the money.

  15. Now the above was career totals lets look at the 2008 cycle

    Finance/Insurance/Real Estate: Top Recipients

    1 Obama, Barack (D) Senate $39,502,719
    2 McCain, John (R) Senate $28,945,592
    3 Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) Senate $20,238,984
    4 Romney, Mitt (R) $13,712,457
    5 Giuliani, Rudolph W (R) $13,411,959
    6 Dodd, Chris (D-CT) Senate $5,967,536
    7 Richardson, Bill (D) $2,916,752
    8 Coleman, Norm (R-MN) Senate $2,792,840
    9 McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) Senate $2,426,708
    10 Warner, Mark (D-VA) $2,350,429
    11 Edwards, John (D) $2,125,162
    12 Cornyn, John (R-TX) Senate $2,079,948
    13 Thompson, Fred (R) $1,943,704
    14 Sununu, John E (R-NH) Senate $1,785,380
    15 Chambliss, Saxby (R-GA) Senate $1,702,928
    16 Baucus, Max (D-MT) Senate $1,631,225
    17 Biden, Joseph R Jr (D-DE) Senate $1,623,886
    18 Dole, Elizabeth (R-NC) Senate $1,543,241
    19 Rangel, Charles B (D-NY) House $1,367,519
    20 Durbin, Dick (D-IL) Senate $1,355,633

    The 2010 cycle

    1 Schumer, Charles E (D-NY) Senate $1,445,800
    2 Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY) Senate $792,450
    3 Reid, Harry (D-NV) Senate $723,410
    4 Dodd, Chris (D-CT) Senate $533,342
    5 Portman, Rob (R-OH) $508,050
    6 Crist, Charles J Jr (R-FL) $459,578
    7 White, Bill (D-TX) $434,004
    8 Cantor, Eric (R-VA) House $388,300
    9 Bennet, Michael F (D-CO) Senate $346,478
    10 Giannoulias, Alexander (D-IL) $330,650
    11 Lincoln, Blanche (D-AR) Senate $301,100
    12 Shelby, Richard C (R-AL) Senate $285,750
    13 Kirk, Mark (R-IL) House $285,675
    14 Maloney, Carolyn B (D-NY) House $267,250
    15 Murphy, Scott (D-NY) House $264,050
    16 Specter, Arlen (D-PA) Senate $263,125
    17 Fisher, Lee Irwin (D-OH) $255,134
    18 Himes, Jim (D-CT) House $251,343
    19 Bayh, Evan (D-IN) Senate $245,570
    20 Dorgan, Byron L (D-ND) Senate $240,650

    Gee Joe Lieberman's name wasn't on any of those top 20 lists was he?

  16. As I said elsewhere, Lieberman is a sane Dem, a rarity. Obviously health care and other costly things should have waited until after economic recovery, not to mention not be pursued so sloppily and rashly.

    No wonder Kathy is so annoyed.

  17. “Oh so now he's worried about the Obama presidency.”

    That's because once again, he's a rare sane Dem. Too bad Obama isn't smart enough to be worried. He was fine early in the year when he muzzled the lib Dems, but openly came out on the dark side with the climate bill (with earlier hints related to things like the Detroit automaker takeover). He's become almost obscessed or otherwise neurotic about this health care effort, which is the worst thing the Dems have done so far. It's no surprise except to the low tail of the IQ bell curve why the effort is failing, and why even Dems like Lieberman are stating the obvious (to all but those at the low tail of the IQ bell curve).

    * * *

    “We want the un watered-down public option. No compromise. Your step-system is just another version of [...]“

    [sigh]

    The public option *** ITSELF *** is the big step here, the incrementalist step toward federal health care takeover. (Talk about sheep being easily led…)

    If the Dems hadn't compiled a dirty record of poor behavior and results this year, and had they engaged in a coherent, purposeful health care effort currently, then they might stand a chance of public acceptance rather than the widespread concern that continues to grow, the more people know. But they continue to flail and be dishonest and inept, and it's no surprise to most (and more) people why the effort is failing and why some Democrats now have concerns along with everyone else but the naive, the neurotic, and worse.

    (The concerns are not only about the childish rushing and ineptitude that makes the Dems now rival if not surpass the GOP in the dysfunctionality department, but about at least some Dems' re-election prospects.)

  18. “people really, truly are not comfortable with the pace of the outflow. It's part of what's behind the vast pushback”

    The nature and content of the outflow to date, this year, on successive issues, and the current and future results we already see and foresee so far, and apprehension of consequences of this health care effort (in whatever form the hurrying kiddies arrive at, eventually), is behind more of this public push-back.

    The public clamored for the Dems _not_ to pass the idiotic climate bill. The Dems did it, and incidentally, Obama chose to be more public, and take the wrong side, and insist as well that it be passed.

    The health care effort is the worst thing of all so far, and Obama is pushing it worse than the climate bill.

    It's a push-back of Obama and the Congre-Dems' own making.

  19. I notice Kathy has not responded. Not surprising.

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