Lieberman Won’t Vote for Health Bill

In a surprise move that’s only surprising if you haven’t paid much attention to Joe Lieberman’s many other “surprise moves,” he announced today that he won’t support the health care bill in its current form.

WASHINGTON — 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.

The bill’s supporters had said earlier that they thought they had secured Mr. Lieberman’s agreement to go along with a compromise they worked out to overcome an impasse within the Democratic Party.

But on Sunday, Mr. Lieberman told the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, to scrap the idea of expanding Medicare and abandon any new government insurance plan or lose his vote.

On a separate issue, Mr. Reid tried over the weekend to concoct a compromise on abortion that would induce Senator Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, to vote for the bill. Mr. Nelson opposes abortion. Any provision that satisfies him risks alienating supporters of abortion rights.

In interviews on the CBS News program “Face the Nation,” Mr. Lieberman and Mr. Nelson said the bill did not have the 60 votes it would need in the Senate.

Senate Democratic leaders, including Mr. Reid and Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, said they had been mindful of Mr. Lieberman’s concerns in the last 10 days and were surprised when he assailed major provisions of the bill on television Sunday. He reiterated his objections in a private meeting with Mr. Reid.

Democrats are not pleased: 81% Of Dems Want Lieberman Punished For Health Care Filibuster.

More than 80 percent of Democrats say they believe Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn) should be stripped of his powerful chairmanship in the Senate if he ends up supporting a Republican filibuster of health care reform, according to a new poll.

It should be noted that over the course of his career, Joe Lieberman has taken almost $2.5 million in donations from the health care industries, and more than $1 million from the insurance industry: OpenSecrets.org.

Jump to bottom

374 comments
1 Douchecanoe and Ryan Too  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:45:05am

Color me surprised. Although I was surprised to learn of the campaign donations from the health care machine.

2 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:45:55am

Most dangerous place in Washington: between Lieberman and a microphone (or camera). /

Who could possibly be surprised that he did this? It's what Lieberman does.

3 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:46:05am

Lieberman is a democrat I could vote for, not because of this, but because he strikes me as a man of integrity. If he thinks something is wrong with this, I trust his judgment.

4 Ben Hur  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:46:55am

Punish then Purge!

Purge then Punish!

5 Douchecanoe and Ryan Too  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:47:01am

re: #3 Sharmuta

Lieberman is a democrat I could vote for, not because of this, but because he strikes me as a man of integrity. If he thinks something is wrong with this, I trust his judgment.

He's one of the few senators that can be counted on to truly vote his conscience, even in the face of threats.

6 Velvet Elvis  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:47:03am

At this point I think Joe's main goal is to piss off liberals in retaliation for the Ned Lamont thing. He doesn't give a shit about the legislation, just pissing off liberals.

7 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:47:36am

re: #6 Conservative Moonbat

At this point I think Joe's main goal is to piss off liberals in retaliation for the Ned Lamont thing. He doesn't give a shit about the legislation, just pissing off liberals.

Exactly.

8 sngnsgt  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:47:58am

You go Joe!

9 brookly red  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:48:03am

re: #1 thedopefishlives

Color me surprised. Although I was surprised to learn of the campaign donations from the health care machine.

I don't think you can find any pol who has not. I could be wrong, but these are big groups & they do spread it around.

10 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:48:03am

re: #3 Sharmuta

Are you sure it's integrity, rather than the large amount of campaign donations from industry?

re: #5 thedopefishlives

He's one of the few senators that can be counted on to truly vote his conscience, even in the face of threats.

Same question.

11 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:49:10am

Thank goodness, Happy Holiday's, nice gift.

12 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:49:10am

re: #5 thedopefishlives

He's one of the few senators that can be counted on to truly vote his conscience, even in the face of threats.

Except he doesn't vote his conscience. Cf the donations above in Charles' post.

13 mph  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:49:32am

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

14 Ben Hur  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:49:56am

I am shocked! Shocked that a politician would take $ from special interests!

15 albusteve  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:50:12am

re: #6 Conservative Moonbat

At this point I think Joe's main goal is to piss off liberals in retaliation for the Ned Lamont thing. He doesn't give a shit about the legislation, just pissing off liberals.

pretty cynical point of view

16 Velvet Elvis  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:50:21am

re: #13 mph

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

What about them?

17 Neutral President  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:50:27am

re: #6 Conservative Moonbat

At this point I think Joe's main goal is to piss off liberals in retaliation for the Ned Lamont thing. He doesn't give a shit about the legislation, just pissing off liberals.

Or it could be, in addition to pissing off his opponents, he's smart enough to realize we cant afford this, and couldn't even if we weren't in the middle of the worst recession in decades. No, what am I thinking, it must only be to piss someone off.

18 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:50:29am

re: #10 Obdicut

He's probably getting paid by big republican sponsors. Because everyone knows the left doesn't take campaign contributions from interested parties looking for a quid pro quo.

19 Mark Pennington  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:51:02am

Not surprising at all since Hartford, Connecticut is home to many insurance companies.

20 Stanghazi  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:51:07am

re: #3 Sharmuta

Lieberman is a democrat I could vote for, not because of this, but because he strikes me as a man of integrity. If he thinks something is wrong with this, I trust his judgment.

He's not a Democrat anymore, he switched to Independent.

21 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:51:54am

re: #18 Sharmuta

That's a 'tu quoque' argument.

I'm asking why, in Lieberman's case, you believe that he votes his conscience.

I have no problem saying that the 'left' votes largely according to their campaign donors too.

22 Ben Hur  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:51:56am

$1 million in 22 years.

23 albusteve  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:52:01am

re: #20 Stanley Sea

He's not a Democrat anymore, he switched to Independent.

small 'd'....didn't you catch it?

24 Neutral President  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:52:01am

re: #18 Sharmuta

He's probably getting paid by big republican sponsors. Because everyone knows the left doesn't take campaign contributions from interested parties looking for a quid pro quo.

Yep, not a single one of those fine Democrat gentlemen and women in DC takes one dime from lawyers trying to stop malpractice reform. Not... a... one.

25 Basho  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:52:07am

...annnd the membership to the party of "No" is complete.

26 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:52:50am

re: #21 Obdicut

That's a fair point. Integrity is dead.

27 Kragar  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:53:25am

Can we name a Senator who has not taken any money from the healthcare industry at some point in his career?

28 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:53:38am

re: #1 thedopefishlives

Color me surprised. Although I was surprised to learn of the campaign donations from the health care machine.

Connecticut is national or world headquarters for over 70 large insurance companies.

29 The Curmudgeon  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:53:48am

Lieberman has always been the conservatives' favorite democrat, ever since Buckley supported him to defeat Lowell Weicker, a classic RINO.

30 Dark_Falcon  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:54:39am

re: #11 Walter L. Newton

Thank goodness, Happy Holiday's, nice gift.

It is, too. Harry Reid gets Obamacare gone sideways and shoved up his backside. Couldn't happen to a more deserving person unless it happened to Nancy Pelosi.

31 albusteve  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:54:42am

I have complete faith that the feds will get this all sorted out in Americas best interests....they are our elected officials and represent our wishes....stop all the bashing and be patient...

32 brookly red  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:54:57am

re: #27 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Can we name a Senator who has not taken any money from the healthcare industry at some point in his career?

Nope! But I am guessing there will be some won't be getting any more.

33 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:55:28am

re: #24 ArchangelMichael

By malpractice reform, do you mean tort limit caps, or something different?

re: #26 Sharmuta

That's a fair point. Integrity is dead.

I don't think it's dead, just very poorly off. I do think that every decision made by a politician is some parts pure politics, some parts money-politics-- getting the money to get re-elected-- and some part actually doing what they think is right.

I do think that there's far too much money streaming into the system for integrity to play as large a role as it should, but the solution to that isn't entirely clear. It's hard to limit without limiting necessary free speech, as well.

34 lawhawk  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:56:02am

Charles,

Lieberman represents the State of Connecticut, which is home to many of the nation's insurance company headquarters. Hartford is home to Travelers, Aetna, The Hartford, The Phoenix Companies, Inc. and Hartford Steam Boiler based in the city. CIGNA is also located in CT. He's doing what he must to protect his state's major cash cow and employer. It would be foolish of him to attack one of the state's biggest employers.

35 Ben Hur  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:56:30am

Harry Reid

Health Professionals $1,016,551

36 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:56:44am

re: #10 Obdicut

Are you sure it's integrity, rather than the large amount of campaign donations from industry?

re: #5 thedopefishlives


Same question.

Opensecrets.org says that dems are receiving more than 50% of insurance industry money for 2010 races.

So if insurance donations = bad, can i reflexively vote republican?

37 RogueOne  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:57:03am

re: #22 Ben Hur

$1 million in 22 years.

Beat me to it, should be repeated anyway.

38 KenJen  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:57:03am

re: #27 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Can we name a Senator who has not taken any money from the healthcare industry at some point in his career?

Henry Clay. What do I win?

39 Killgore Trout  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:57:06am

re: #27 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Can we name a Senator who has not taken any money from the healthcare industry at some point in his career?

Probably not but search other politicians on OpenSecrets. Although Dems also take money from Oil, Insurance and parmacudicals Republicans take much much more.

40 Mark Pennington  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:57:12am

I'm still worrying that soon my sister who has cancer will be dropped. She has cost them more than $100,000 and is only on her 3rd treatment. She goes into work a few days a week (deathly ill) because she's afraid she'll lose her coverage if she doesn't.

41 Dark_Falcon  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:57:31am

re: #34 lawhawk

Charles,

Lieberman represents the State of Connecticut, which is home to many of the nation's insurance company headquarters. Hartford is home to Travelers, Aetna, The Hartford, The Phoenix Companies, Inc. and Hartford Steam Boiler based in the city. CIGNA is also located in CT. He's doing what he must to protect his state's major cash cow and employer. It would be foolish of him to attack one of the state's biggest employers.

Good point. His constitutants are his main priority and they'd get reamed by this bill.

42 acwgusa  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:57:35am

re: #31 albusteve

I have complete faith that the feds will get this all sorted out in Americas best interests...they are our elected officials and represent our wishes...stop all the bashing and be patient...

Did you miss a sarc tag?

43 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:57:52am

re: #33 Obdicut

I'm feeling pretty pessimistic today. America, republicans, babies and Joe Lieberman are all bad things apparently. Integrity will not come back to politics, and we are all doomed.

44 albusteve  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:58:08am

re: #39 Killgore Trout

Probably not but search other politicians on OpenSecrets. Although Dems also take money from Oil, Insurance and parmacudicals Republicans take much much more.

my haul is bigger than your haul

45 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:58:17am

re: #34 lawhawk

Charles,

Lieberman represents the State of Connecticut, which is home to many of the nation's insurance company headquarters. Hartford is home to Travelers, Aetna, The Hartford, The Phoenix Companies, Inc. and Hartford Steam Boiler based in the city. CIGNA is also located in CT. He's doing what he must to protect his state's major cash cow and employer. It would be foolish of him to attack one of the state's biggest employers.

Yep, the insurance industries are a huge constituent of Lieberman's. That's my point.

46 Dark_Falcon  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:58:32am

re: #38 KenJen

Henry Clay. What do I win?

Here's your prize: SMACK!

47 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:59:09am

re: #40 beekiller

I'm still worrying that soon my sister who has cancer will be dropped. She has cost them more than $100,000 and is only on her 3rd treatment. She goes into work a few days a week (deathly ill) because she's afraid she'll lose her coverage if she doesn't.

That's awful, I'm so sorry.

48 Kragar  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:59:29am

re: #38 KenJen

Henry Clay. What do I win?

You forgot the infamous Snake Oil-gate incident of 1838.

/

49 Dark_Falcon  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:59:33am

re: #44 albusteve

my haul is bigger than your haul

I'm sure both of you have nice, big hauls, now please put them away. ;)

50 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:59:39am

re: #36 Aceofwhat?

No. But you can assume that the votes of those people are trying to be swayed by those companies, and you should examine the logic of their votes very carefully.

I have never, ever defended the Democrats against charges of being influenced by special interests just as the Republicans are. I have been highly critical of the health care reform bill, though from a different perspective than most people here; I see single-payer/public option/what have you as not only a good thing, but economically inevitable.

This is not a GOP vs. Democrats deal, to me. This is a pragmatism vs. special interests problem. And the pragmatists are pretty much locked out of the political situation at the moment.

Which sucks.

51 brookly red  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:00:12am

re: #35 Ben Hur

Harry Reid

Health Professionals $1,016,551

Buyer's remorse?

52 HelloDare  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:00:25am

Statistics are only valid when you compare them. Here is Harry Reid's page over at Open Secrets.

Reid

Industry Total
Lawyers/Law Firms $3,633,492
Casinos/Gambling $1,571,920
Real Estate $1,070,556
Securities & Investment $1,044,885
Health Professionals $1,016,551
Lobbyists $936,307
Business Services $720,943
Retired $583,415
Pro-Israel $525,621
TV/Movies/Music $521,601
Misc Finance $504,815
Insurance $482,810
Leadership PACs $445,800
Computers/Internet $379,750
Transportation Unions $375,250
Hospitals/Nursing Homes $361,775
Lodging/Tourism $360,051
Public Sector Unions $351,649
Commercial Banks $324,696
Mining $300,400

Lieberman
Securities & Investment $3,726,663
Lawyers/Law Firms $3,648,432
Real Estate $3,105,480
Retired $2,031,994
Pro-Israel $2,008,278
Misc Finance $1,118,848
Health Professionals $1,041,362
Insurance $1,040,320
Business Services $850,764
Misc Manufacturing & Distributing $719,536
Misc Business $650,350
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $617,540
Education $488,122
Retail Sales $446,700
Commercial Banks $445,228
Computers/Internet $441,891
TV/Movies/Music $424,050
Defense Aerospace $408,885
Lobbyists $396,935
Accountants $390,583

53 Dark_Falcon  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:00:27am

re: #45 Charles

Yep, the insurance industries are a huge constituent of Lieberman's. That's my point.

But that would still be a legit reason for him to fillibuster. They are major employers in his state.

54 cliffster  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:01:38am

Seem there was a proposal that insurance still be supplied privately, with policies for people under a certain income threshold paid for by taxing insurance benefits of those above that line. More business, paid for by taxpayers. Doesn't sound like a bad deal for insurance companies to me.

55 acwgusa  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:01:53am

re: #50 Obdicut

No. But you can assume that the votes of those people are trying to be swayed by those companies, and you should examine the logic of their votes very carefully.

I have never, ever defended the Democrats against charges of being influenced by special interests just as the Republicans are. I have been highly critical of the health care reform bill, though from a different perspective than most people here; I see single-payer/public option/what have you as not only a good thing, but economically inevitable.

This is not a GOP vs. Democrats deal, to me. This is a pragmatism vs. special interests problem. And the pragmatists are pretty much locked out of the political situation at the moment.

Which sucks.

I had a feeling that was the case. I didn't see any instance where Congress actually consulted with Health Care industry front liners on what the quality of delivery of care actually entitles.

56 Velvet Elvis  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:02:26am

re: #53 Dark_Falcon

But that would still be a legit reason for him to fillibuster. They are major employers in his state.

Except with individual mandates, the bill will insure more clients for the insurance industry, not fewer, so it's in their best interest for this to pass.

57 Ben Hur  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:02:38am

That's a kick ass site.

Sierra Club

[Link: www.opensecrets.org...]

58 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:03:09am

re: #50 Obdicut

Excellent - i agree with all of that. So with the insurance industry giving 54% of their donations to Dems for the 2010 election cycle, i'm struggling to see how following the money leads to the conclusion that the insurance industry is having a big impact on this bill.

59 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:03:10am

re: #55 acwgusa

The biggest problem I have with the Democrats is how little they've involved the people who have been trying to reform health care for a long time now, including Atul Gawande and many others.

60 blueraven  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:03:57am

re: #3 Sharmuta

Lieberman is a democrat I could vote for, not because of this, but because he strikes me as a man of integrity. If he thinks something is wrong with this, I trust his judgment.

I have a problem with Lieberman, because he keeps moving the goal post. First it was because it would explode the deficit, which CBO said it wouldn't. Then it was because a PO was unnecessary. Now without a public option, he still opposes reform. I am not feeling it.

61 lawhawk  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:04:37am

re: #45 Charles

You could go through Open Secrets and find similar connections between members and various constituencies. Take Chuck Schumer for example, who represents NY, and whose top donors are law firms and financial services companies; no surprise since he's not only on the judiciary committee, but represents Wall Street.

It's also why you'll sometimes see candidates from both parties acting against their party faithful in order to protect their home constituencies.

Lieberman could be voting on the merits of the bill to oppose it, or you can blame the fact that he's in the pocket of the insurers. It's probably a bit of both.

62 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:04:59am

re: #58 Aceofwhat?

I'm sorry, I don't understand the struggle.

The bill is heavily, heavily slated in favor of the health insurance companies at the moment, and the proper question of, "What good, exactly, do private health insurance companies provide to the market?" has been sidelined and treated as a fringe, crazy question-- despite the fact that no one can answer it.

This bill is a great thing for the insurance companies. All they really had to do is jack up their prices before it passes-- which they've just done-- and make sure that the more damaging provisions to them, like the public option, are stripped out. They appear to be successful in doing so.

63 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:05:47am

re: #60 blueraven

What do you think of President Obama's goal post moving?

64 MandyManners  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:06:10am
On a separate issue, Mr. Reid tried over the weekend to concoct a compromise on abortion that would induce

Am I the only one who caught that language?

65 acwgusa  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:06:31am

re: #59 Obdicut

The biggest problem I have with the Democrats is how little they've involved the people who have been trying to reform health care for a long time now, including Atul Gawande and many others.

Health care reform in this country is not something that can be accomplished in half a year, or even a year. It needs to be a top to bottom evaluation of every aspect of health care delivery. It needs a minimum of two years study and consultation with front line nurses, doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, drug companies, insurance companies before legislation is a drop of ink on paper.

66 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:08:10am

re: #62 Obdicut

I'm sorry, I don't understand the struggle.

The bill is heavily, heavily slated in favor of the health insurance companies at the moment, and the proper question of, "What good, exactly, do private health insurance companies provide to the market?" has been sidelined and treated as a fringe, crazy question-- despite the fact that no one can answer it.

This bill is a great thing for the insurance companies. All they really had to do is jack up their prices before it passes-- which they've just done-- and make sure that the more damaging provisions to them, like the public option, are stripped out. They appear to be successful in doing so.

I have to agree with Obdicut here (ugh). This bill has turned into a big windfall for the insurance companies.

Look at that one provision, a single payer option called "lower the Medicare age to 55."

The insurance companies will get to offload a whole bunch of people who is costing them money on their policies. It's the same reason the insurance companies were so supportive the first time Medicare came up.

They actually make more money having the government take care of all these older citizens.

67 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:08:47am

re: #54 cliffster

Seem there was a proposal that insurance still be supplied privately, with policies for people under a certain income threshold paid for by taxing insurance benefits of those above that line. More business, paid for by taxpayers. Doesn't sound like a bad deal for insurance companies to me.

The problem with that approach is that it doesn't give the government micromanagement of a large sector of the economy.

Other than that, it's not a bad place to start. We currently have a system that covers somewhere in the neighborhood of 80% - 90% of the population, depending on who you ask. Raising rates by 10% to 20% would nominally cover the remainder. And that doesn't take into account that a large portion of the uninsured are exactly the young, healthy, low-risk candidates that the government is hoping will pay for their proposals, so actual increases would presumably be considerably less.

Remaining at issue is how to control rising costs. The key here is to expose consumers to some portion of their bills, even by proxy as has been done with prescription copays, which are higher for expensive, proprietary drugs than for generics that cost much less. The introduction of copays, which are small in comparison with the actual cost of the drugs involved, was sufficient to shift over half the market into generics in just a few years time. A similar approach to other fees and services seems likely to remove one of the major distortions in the medical marketplace - the near-complete insulation of consumers from actual costs.

68 blueraven  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:08:56am

re: #63 Sharmuta

What do you think of President Obama's goal post moving?

Which ones?

69 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:09:02am

re: #65 acwgusa

The evaluations have already been done. We have studied the subject extensively. The Democrats, however, did a shit-ass job of presenting that, and acted as though they were fucking geniuses for figuring out that we need health care reform.

We have lots and lots of information, from real-world tests, about how health care delivery performs under different economic conditions, with different incentives, etc.

70 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:09:06am

re: #60 blueraven

I have a problem with Lieberman, because he keeps moving the goal post. First it was because it would explode the deficit, which CBO said it wouldn't. Then it was because a PO was unnecessary. Now without a public option, he still opposes reform. I am not feeling it.

That's because Lieberman always intended to oppose it ultimately . That's why he is the opposite of someone who is voting his conscience or acting with integrity: he's run a series of moves all of which are designed to keep him important, and with the ultimate intent of blocking the bill regardless. Each of the prior excuses were precisely that: excuses. Now it's coming down to the wire though.

71 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:09:16am

re: #68 blueraven

Which ones?

Cite 'em all.

72 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:09:18am

re: #62 Obdicut

Great, exactly. So voting against the bill is one of the only things a member could do to show that they might NOT be in the pocket of the insurance industry, right?

73 Spare O'Lake  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:10:04am
It should be noted that over the course of his career, Joe Lieberman has taken almost $2.5 million in donations from the health care industries, and more than $1 million from the insurance industry

Nice little smear.

74 albusteve  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:10:29am

re: #65 acwgusa

Health care reform in this country is not something that can be accomplished in half a year, or even a year. It needs to be a top to bottom evaluation of every aspect of health care delivery. It needs a minimum of two years study and consultation with front line nurses, doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, drug companies, insurance companies before legislation is a drop of ink on paper.

not if you think you have hocus pocus on your side, which the Dems clearly think they do...bait and switch is a common political tactic, then mangle the language, scare the shit out of people with some manufactured crisis and presto!....you have legislation

75 brookly red  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:10:43am

re: #72 Aceofwhat?

Great, exactly. So voting against the bill is one of the only things a member could do to show that they might NOT be in the pocket of the insurance industry, right?

What if it's just not a good bill?

76 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:10:54am

re: #72 Aceofwhat?

No, it doesn't say much of anything, at this point. Threatening to vote against it unless certain changes are made, though, says quite a lot, I think.

77 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:10:57am

re: #73 Spare O'Lake

Nice little smear.

Excuse me? Since when are facts "smears?"

78 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:11:26am

re: #63 Sharmuta

What do you think of President Obama's goal post moving?

did you see the opening SNL skit a few weeks ago?

put the milk down, if you don't want it to spray out of your nose...this was awesome.

[Link: www.hulu.com...]

79 Dark_Falcon  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:11:40am

Gotta go to work. BBT

80 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:11:44am

re: #73 Spare O'Lake

Nice little smear.

Nice little truth.

81 subsailor68  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:11:54am

Hi all. As I read the article, it's not quite so much that Lieberman intends to vote against any bill, just against the bill as it is currently written:

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, said on Sunday that he would vote against the health care legislation in its current form.

And the two major reasons he cites:

But on Sunday, Mr. Lieberman told the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, to scrap the idea of expanding Medicare and abandon any new government insurance plan or lose his vote.

Expanding Medicare while proposing to cut Medicare funding (to save money) is problematic, so I do understand his concern there. People have varying opinions on what a government plan might do to the private insurance industry, so his concern there (given his constituency) isn't really a surprise.

The bill in the Senate, as currently structured, is something that worries me quite a bit, and I'm not all that upset that folks like Lieberman and Nelson are helping slow the process down a bit.

82 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:13:11am

Gosh, I don't know what benefit health insurers provide.

//

My mother doesn't have supplemental insurance, and if she did we wouldn't have to have wrangle with the VA to get into the cancer treatment trial program she needs (60 pct survival) instead of the standard chemo/radiation treatment (15 pct survival) the VA offers. They won't give her a referral.

What benefits does home insurance provide? What benefits does car insurance provide?
Do you carry either Obidcut?

83 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:13:15am

re: #76 Obdicut

Threatening to vote against it certainly wouldn't say that one is in the pocket of the insurance industry, right?

I'm just trying to figure out how far we're willing to go to tie a person's vote to their donations. Full disclosure - i'm not really sure, myself.

84 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:13:51am

re: #76 Obdicut

No, it doesn't say much of anything, at this point. Threatening to vote against it unless certain changes are made, though, says quite a lot, I think.

I expect Lieberman to continue to threaten but suspect he'll ultimately wind up signing off on it, btw. Once he's made the point once again about how very very important he is, and once he's been lauded as the right's favourite Democrat (sic) again.

85 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:14:10am

Wasn't Lieberman part of the group that drafted these provisions in the first place, that he's now objecting to?

86 acwgusa  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:14:17am

re: #69 Obdicut

The evaluations have already been done. We have studied the subject extensively. The Democrats, however, did a shit-ass job of presenting that, and acted as though they were fucking geniuses for figuring out that we need health care reform.

We have lots and lots of information, from real-world tests, about how health care delivery performs under different economic conditions, with different incentives, etc.

I find that really the biggest hurdle to care, is the actual payment delivery systems. Ever try to figure out health care billing codes? Not to mention, our patient records information delivery is stuck in the 19th century.

The other issue, that government provided insurances (Medicare and Medicaid) pay nowhere NEAR actual market reimbursement costs for services. Medicare and Medicaid would be broke years ago if they paid actual reimbursments.

87 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:14:33am

re: #75 brookly red

What if it's just not a good bill?

That would be my favorite reason for opposing it!

88 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:15:02am

Obdicut, do you have car or home insurance?

89 Jaerik  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:15:43am

I'm extremely ambivalent about the health care reform bills moving through Congress. I'm torn between my standard libertarian love for the private sector, and my first-hand comparisons between life in the US and a single-payer country (Japan).

That having been said, you don't have to be on the right or the left to think this guy is a weasel. This is the second time on this subject he has been invited to the negotiation room on good faith, gotten his caucus to back off the most tempting parts of their agenda, come out of the room claiming victory and shaking hands all around, and then done a 180 and threatened to filibuster. This time, he isn't even waiting for the CBO to score the damn thing.

If you're against health care reform, embrace this guy at your peril. He's a snake. The only thing he's thinking about is media exposure for himself, the millions he's gotten from insurance companies, and his ex-insurance lobbyist wife.

90 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:15:54am

re: #85 Charles

I thought Reid oversaw most of the work?

91 Blueheron  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:16:12am

re: #3 Sharmuta

Lieberman is a democrat I could vote for, not because of this, but because he strikes me as a man of integrity. If he thinks something is wrong with this, I trust his judgment.


So do I. What more could Democrats do to him than not pick him to run in the next election?
I'm thinking we may have an independent pick for an Independence party nominee here.

92 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:16:37am

re: #85 Charles

Wasn't Lieberman part of the group that drafted these provisions in the first place, that he's now objecting to?

I don't know. His primary objection seems to be the proposal to lower the age of Medicare coverage to 50, which he claims will drive the cost of the Medicare program far too high. Are you saying he was the source of the proposal to lower the eligibility age?

93 Killgore Trout  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:17:04am

re: #82 Thanos

The problem is that insurance costs are out of control. The cost of my insurance has more than doubled in the past five years while my coverage has been reduced. The Insurance industry has no motivation to control costs and increase benefits.

94 Blueheron  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:17:08am

re: #85 Charles

Wasn't Lieberman part of the group that drafted these provisions in the first place, that he's now objecting to?

He didn't ever want a government option and by expanding Medicare that is exactly what Reid is up to.

95 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:17:31am

re: #92 SixDegrees

I don't know. His primary objection seems to be the proposal to lower the age of Medicare coverage to 50, which he claims will drive the cost of the Medicare program far too high. Are you saying he was the source of the proposal to lower the eligibility age?

I thought he was, but I can't seem to find a source to confirm that.

96 simoom  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:17:47am

re: #15 albusteve

pretty cynical point of view

In his most recent run for office he ran on an even more robust "public option" than have been in any of the bills that have made it anywhere.

I don't know how accurate it is, but in a recent Jonathan Alter Newsweek column, he writes that according to his senate colleagues, Lieberman is consumed with resentment at what he feels was his betrayal at the hands of CT dems, and that he has publicly said watching the movie Inglorious Bastards was "cathartic" (w/ respect to that betrayal).

97 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:17:57am

re: #82 Thanos

I'm sorry, you're not understanding my question:

What benefits do private health insurers provide by dint of being private? With most industries, you can point to innovations, efficiency, and benefits provided, spurred by competition, etc. But health insurance is a naturally broken market; their is active disincentive towards efficiency in payouts, and a number of other confounding factors. It's not a normal market.

My question is what good the private health insurance industry provides, not what good health insurance provides. I'm not saying there isn't an answer, just that I've never gotten one.

re: #83 Aceofwhat?

I'm saying, simply, that demanding certain things be or not be in the bill, and receiving donations from industry groups, seems innately tied to me, or at least worthy of close inspection.

98 Blueheron  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:18:21am

re: #6 Conservative Moonbat

At this point I think Joe's main goal is to piss off liberals in retaliation for the Ned Lamont thing. He doesn't give a shit about the legislation, just pissing off liberals.

Well who isn't? /

99 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:18:34am

re: #93 Killgore Trout

The problem is that insurance costs are out of control. The cost of my insurance has more than doubled in the past five years while my coverage has been reduced. The Insurance industry has no motivation to control costs and increase benefits.

I agree that insurance costs are out of control due to demographics and a variety of other reasons, but to say that insurance "has no benefit" is ridiculous, and if you carry car or home insurance it's hypocritical.

100 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:19:12am

re: #94 Blueheron

He didn't ever want a government option and by expanding Medicare that is exactly what Reid is up to.

Expanding Medicare to 55 is a big handout to the insurance companies. They should love it.

101 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:19:50am

re: #97 Obdicut

See 99.

102 Daniel Ballard  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:19:53am

OT unless lying about your position counts
IRAN WATCH
Scary breaking news on Iran and nuclear weapons work...

[Link: www.cnn.com...]

London, England (CNN) -- A secret document that appears to show that Iran was working on building nuclear weapons as recently as 2007 is "alarming" and "part of a body of evidence backing up deep concerns over Iran's nuclear program," a Western diplomatic source with knowledge of the papers told CNN on Monday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, has a copy of the secret papers, which were also obtained by the Times of London, the source said.

103 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:19:55am

Here is Lieberman in 2000, supporting a Medicare buyin, btw:

Joe Lieberman Not The Man He Used To Be On Medicare Buy-In

As his running mate, Al Gore, has been doing on the trail for weeks, Lieberman talks up the value of a buy-in, eloquently arguing that it's a great compromise way to get incremental health care reform past members of Congress wary of a robust health care reform bill.

You know the members he's talking about. The ones that say any government-run health insurance plan, including a Medicare expansion, will bankrupt the country and hurt private insurance companies. The ones that, as of this weekend, count Joe Lieberman as one of their strongest allies.

Joe Lieberman, meet Joe Lieberman.

I have to do some more research on all of Lieberman's backtracking on and duplicity on the health reform issue, but it's extensive.

104 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:20:38am

re: #100 Walter L. Newton

Expanding Medicare to 55 is a big handout to the insurance companies. They should love it.

Well, there's another side to it; it gives the government far more leverage in the marketplace. So I can see health insurers being of too minds about it. As you say, it reduces their costs with a cost-ridden section of their population, but at the same time, it reduces their power.

105 Blueheron  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:20:54am

re: #24 ArchangelMichael

Yep, not a single one of those fine Democrat gentlemen and women in DC takes one dime from lawyers trying to stop malpractice reform. Not... a... one.


Butter wouldn't melt in their mouths.

106 Spare O'Lake  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:21:27am

re: #77 Charles

Excuse me? Since when are facts "smears?"

"It should be noted" worked for me. Call me hypersensitive, but Lieberman has had a very long career, including a run for the vice-presidency, so that number by itself didn't speak of someone who has been bought and sold.

107 What, me worry?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:21:44am

re: #85 Charles

Wasn't Lieberman part of the group that drafted these provisions in the first place, that he's now objecting to?

I don't know. He's been on the Sunday talk shows saying he opposes the Democrat's reform. David Gregory tried to pin him in a corner about a filibuster. I can't find the transcript, but I think he evaded the question.

He's kind of all over the place anyway. Not really Left or Right. I guess that makes him a true Independent, but it could also mean that no one will trust him.

108 Killgore Trout  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:21:54am

re: #95 Charles

I thought he was, but I can't seem to find a source to confirm that.

Here: Joe Lieberman's Medicare Dodge

In a recent column for the Hartford Courant, Lieberman cited the rising costs of Medicare to justify his opposition to expanding the government's role in health care. But in 2000, when he was Al Gore's running mate, Lieberman campaigned on a platform of offering everyone 55 and older an option to "buy-in" to Medicare. That proposal—which was a central part of the Gore-Lieberman campaign's health care plan—essentially would have created a robust public option for people aged 55 to 65.

109 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:21:56am

re: #97 Obdicut

re: #83 Aceofwhat?

I'm saying, simply, that demanding certain things be or not be in the bill, and receiving donations from industry groups, seems innately tied to me, or at least worthy of close inspection.

You've just described the majority of congress with respect to this bill. Thus my fear of the speed with which some are trying to pass this bill.

110 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:22:11am

re: #93 Killgore Trout

The problem is that insurance costs are out of control. The cost of my insurance has more than doubled in the past five years while my coverage has been reduced. The Insurance industry has no motivation to control costs and increase benefits.

See my post, above. Costs are ballooning because no one is directly exposed to them - not the doctors, not the patients, and not even the insurance companies because they can always spread increases over their entire subscriber base, and they also have the clout to negotiate how much they'll pay for expensive services. But there's no pushback for them when it comes to higher rates because, again, most patients get their coverage through their employers and never see the actual costs.

Finding a way to expose consumers and other participants to the real costs, even if done by proxy as it is with prescription copays, has been proven to dramatically drive costs downward by allowing market forces to operate.

Sadly, there is no proposal I've heard that attempts such a thing. Instead, there's the whispered promise of "free" health care hinted at in order to pitch the bills, exactly the opposite of what's needed.

111 acwgusa  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:22:19am

re: #89 Jaerik

I'm extremely ambivalent about the health care reform bills moving through Congress. I'm torn between my standard libertarian love for the private sector, and my first-hand comparisons between life in the US and a single-payer country (Japan).

That having been said, you don't have to be on the right or the left to think this guy is a weasel. This is the second time on this subject he has been invited to the negotiation room on good faith, gotten his caucus to back off the most tempting parts of their agenda, come out of the room claiming victory and shaking hands all around, and then done a 180 and threatened to filibuster. This time, he isn't even waiting for the CBO to score the damn thing.

If you're against health care reform, embrace this guy at your peril. He's a snake. The only thing he's thinking about is media exposure for himself, the millions he's gotten from insurance companies, and his ex-insurance lobbyist wife.

I'm not ambivalent. I've seen what happens when government gets involved in insurance provision. The only way I would accept single payor in this county is if the government paid the private health care providers directly, and stayed the hell out otherwise except for cases of safety.

Our system is fragmented between Medicare, Medicaid, VA, and myriad private insurance providers. Simplest solution? Stop the fragmentation, dump government insurance and pay actual full costs to private providers. Quality care is expensive, and good quality care is astronomical.

112 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:22:24am

re: #107 marjoriemoon

He's a politician. Why should any of them be trusted?

113 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:22:53am

re: #101 Thanos

I did. Again: I'm asking what benefit private health insurance has, not what benefit health insurance has. I explained myself clearly.

Car insurance makes sense as a private market-- though it's a government-mandated private market-- for a wide variety of reasons. It's a very, very dissimilar market to health insurance, and I don't think comparisons between them are very helpful-- they mainly just bog down into saying, "Well, this part's different, and this part".

My question is: What benefit do private health insurers bring to the table, versus public health insurers?

114 Blueheron  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:23:01am

re: #31 albusteve

I have complete faith that the feds will get this all sorted out in Americas best interests...they are our elected officials and represent our wishes...stop all the bashing and be patient...

>>

115 Mark Pennington  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:24:10am

re: #96 simoom

In his most recent run for office he ran on an even more robust "public option" than have been in any of the bills that have made it anywhere.

I don't know how accurate it is, but in a recent Jonathan Alter Newsweek column, he writes that according to his senate colleagues, Lieberman is consumed with resentment at what he feels was his betrayal at the hands of CT dems, and that he has publicly said watching the movie Inglorious Bastards was "cathartic" (w/ respect to that betrayal).

I was going to post a similar comment. It's pretty hard to see his current stance as anything but a personal vendetta against the parts of the party he feels wronged him at the expense of the party as a whole on the country in general.

116 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:24:21am

re: #113 Obdicut

I did. Again: I'm asking what benefit private health insurance has, not what benefit health insurance has. I explained myself clearly.

Car insurance makes sense as a private market-- though it's a government-mandated private market-- for a wide variety of reasons. It's a very, very dissimilar market to health insurance, and I don't think comparisons between them are very helpful-- they mainly just bog down into saying, "Well, this part's different, and this part".

My question is: What benefit do private health insurers bring to the table, versus public health insurers?

And I pointed to a concrete example. VA, a public health insurance plan, won't pay for the most effective treatment for my mother. Private insurance will. What's your problem with facts?

117 acwgusa  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:24:28am

re: #113 Obdicut

I did. Again: I'm asking what benefit private health insurance has, not what benefit health insurance has. I explained myself clearly.

Car insurance makes sense as a private market-- though it's a government-mandated private market-- for a wide variety of reasons. It's a very, very dissimilar market to health insurance, and I don't think comparisons between them are very helpful-- they mainly just bog down into saying, "Well, this part's different, and this part".

My question is: What benefit do private health insurers bring to the table, versus public health insurers?

They cut staff when they run a deficit, whereas public plans cut staff AND benefits.

(I know that's a massive generalization.)

118 cliffster  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:25:19am

re: #116 Thanos

And I pointed to a concrete example. VA, a public health insurance plan, won't pay for the most effective treatment for my mother. Private insurance will. What's your problem with facts?

Likewise my dad.

119 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:25:56am

re: #116 Thanos

I'm not sure why you're being so hostiel.

If I present another case where VA did pay for something effective when private insurance wouldn't, does that dispel your example?

Is your contention that in all cases, private insurance covers effective treatments?

120 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:26:04am

re: #106 Spare O'Lake

They are all bought and sold. All politicians are beholden to their donors. It's why I'm considering not voting anymore- my vote is meaningless unless I donate hundreds of thousands of dollars so that my interests get attention.

121 webevintage  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:26:11am

re: #85 Charles

Wasn't Lieberman part of the group that drafted these provisions in the first place, that he's now objecting to?

Yes.
He told Reid he would support the medicare for 55 and up and then turned around this weekend and said he would not.
He also said Dems need to give MORE to Republicans even though none of them (except maybe Snowe) will evereverever vote for any form of health care reform.
And while they are in love with Medicare and want to protect it at all costs we all know that once this fight is over with the Rs will go back to looking for ways to dismantle Medicare.

122 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:26:27am

re: #107 marjoriemoon

I don't know. He's been on the Sunday talk shows saying he opposes the Democrat's reform. David Gregory tried to pin him in a corner about a filibuster. I can't find the transcript, but I think he evaded the question.

He's kind of all over the place anyway. Not really Left or Right. I guess that makes him a true Independent, but it could also mean that no one will trust him.

I doubt Lieberman would join a filibuster. Especially when there's no need for him to do so. All he has to do is abstain from voting to deprive the Dems of their override. He doesn't have to actually vote with the GOP.

123 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:27:28am

Lieberman was so committed to working out a compromise, he couldn't be bothered to attend the meetings:
Dec 7:

Last week, Harry Reid convened a working group to develop a compromise. Five liberals and five conservatives would attend. Chuck Schumer, Jay Rockefeller, Tom Harkin, Sherrod Brown and Russ Feingold would represent the left. Mark Pryor, Blanche Lincoln, Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman would speak for the moderates. But Lieberman didn't show up.

Twice.

124 lawhawk  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:27:40am

re: #97 Obdicut

Profit margin drives out fraud and abuse of services that we repeatedly see in Medicare and Medicaid (tens of billions annually in those federally administered programs). It can also work to reduce cost overhead since it drives the bottom line. So, in an industry where the historical profit margin is around 6%, and has been 3% in the past couple of years, trying to improve efficiencies in health insurance are paramount.

125 HelloDare  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:27:44am

Healthcare Sector


Total, PACs, Indivs


Reid
Health $1,979,076, $897,453, $1,081,623


Lieberman
Health $2,399,701, $573,849, $1,825,852

126 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:28:14am

re: #119 Obdicut

I'm not sure why you're being so hostiel.

If I present another case where VA did pay for something effective when private insurance wouldn't, does that dispel your example?

Is your contention that in all cases, private insurance covers effective treatments?

Facts are not hostile. You asked for benefits, I provided them, and pointed out that home and car insurance are similar. If you can say it about health insurance, why aren't you saying the same about home, car, shipping, dental, etc insurance? Does it provide zero value?

127 Blueheron  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:28:31am

re: #60 blueraven

I have a problem with Lieberman, because he keeps moving the goal post. First it was because it would explode the deficit, which CBO said it wouldn't. Then it was because a PO was unnecessary. Now without a public option, he still opposes reform. I am not feeling it.

Expanding Medicare is the nose under the tent. And oh yes Medicare is a public option presently only for seniors.

128 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:30:25am

re: #108 Killgore Trout

Not quite the same, then, as what's on the table today, which is a drop in the Medicare eligibility age to 50, rather than a buy-in program.

It should also be noted that Medicare has expanded enormously since 2000. The Dems are basing their affordability promises on their projected ability to squeeze hundreds of billions of dollars of waste out of the current program.

Which, frankly, is not the sort of argument that makes expansion of the program sound like a wise plan.

129 acwgusa  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:30:46am

re: #127 Blueheron

Expanding Medicare is the nose under the tent. And oh yes Medicare is a public option presently only for seniors.

Medicare covers the federally determined disabled, and spouses and children who are surviving relatives.

130 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:31:11am

re: #128 SixDegrees

Not quite the same, then, as what's on the table today, which is a drop in the Medicare eligibility age to 50, rather than a buy-in program.

It should also be noted that Medicare has expanded enormously since 2000. The Dems are basing their affordability promises on their projected ability to squeeze hundreds of billions of dollars of waste out of the current program.

Which, frankly, is not the sort of argument that makes expansion of the program sound like a wise plan.

Coming demographics argue against it as well.

131 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:31:18am

re: #124 lawhawk

How can you assert that, when you don't know the level of fraud and abuse in private insurers?

re: #126 Thanos

Again, I don't think comparing health insurance to car, home, and shipping insurance is wise or sensible. The markets are not very comparable. If you were unable to get car insurance, you would be unable to drive a car. If you are unable to obtain health insurance because of an illness, you will have to spend enormous amounts of money on health care, or you will pass on your costs to the taxpayers at the emergency room, or you will simply not receive care.

Private insurers refuse treatment too, so I'm not even sure what your argument actually is.

132 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:31:32am

It's like he said, I will never be president so F* all you all.

133 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:31:47am

re: #122 SixDegrees

I doubt Lieberman would join a filibuster. Especially when there's no need for him to do so. All he has to do is abstain from voting to deprive the Dems of their override. He doesn't have to actually vote with the GOP.

It's being reported that he says he will filibuster, for whatever it's worth.

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.

134 cliffster  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:32:33am

re: #128 SixDegrees

There's a race to see who sinks us first - Social Security or Medicare. Social Security is my dog right now, although I get a lot of arguments there. With Medicare expansion, it becomes a no-contest.

135 webevintage  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:32:54am

re: #74 albusteve

not if you think you have hocus pocus on your side, which the Dems clearly think they do...bait and switch is a common political tactic, then mangle the language, scare the shit out of people with some manufactured crisis and presto!...you have legislation

So you are saying that this is all a "manufactured crisis"?

136 HelloDare  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:32:54am

Connecticut independent Joseph Lieberman said yesterday he is against letting people as young as 55 participate in Medicare. On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” he also said lawmakers should drop a proposed long-term care insurance program and a public option.

“We don’t need to keep adding on to the back of this horse because we’re going to break the horse’s back and get nothing done,” said Lieberman.

( snip )

CBO Letter

Yesterday, the CBO said a Democratic proposal to require insurers to spend 90 percent of customers’ premiums on health care may “make such insurance an essentially governmental program” that would have to be included in the federal budget.

The CBO’s memo likely will fuel Republican claims that the Democratic plan amounts to a government takeover of health care. The letter said lowering insurers’ required health-care spending level to 85 percent may be enough to avoid crossing the line.

137 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:32:58am

re: #131 Obdicut

I don't think comparing health insurance to car, home, and shipping insurance is wise or sensible


Why not?
The Feds are the insurer of last resort in disaster areas, indeed they've rebuilt some homes in flood prone areas several times.

138 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:34:06am

re: #108 Killgore Trout

Here: Joe Lieberman's Medicare Dodge

In a recent column for the Hartford Courant, Lieberman cited the rising costs of Medicare to justify his opposition to expanding the government's role in health care. But in 2000, when he was Al Gore's running mate, Lieberman campaigned on a platform of offering everyone 55 and older an option to "buy-in" to Medicare. That proposal—which was a central part of the Gore-Lieberman campaign's health care plan—essentially would have created a robust public option for people aged 55 to 65.

Yep, that's what I thought I remembered reading.

It's hard to see this as anything other than a sleazy move. I don't know if the stories that he's consumed with anger over the Ned LaMont situation are true, but it does seem like this is more than simply a reasoned change of mind.

139 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:34:08am

re: #132 LudwigVanQuixote

It's like he said, I will never be president so F* all you all.

I think Ezra Klein is right on the money about this:

To put this in context, Lieberman was invited to participate in the process that led to the Medicare buy-in. His opposition would have killed it before liberals invested in the idea. Instead, he skipped the meetings and is forcing liberals to give up yet another compromise. Each time he does that, he increases the chances of the bill's failure that much more. And if there's a policy rationale here, it's not apparent to me, or to others who've interviewed him. At this point, Lieberman seems primarily motivated by torturing liberals. That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score.

140 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:34:11am

re: #131 Obdicut

How can you assert that, when you don't know the level of fraud and abuse in private insurers?

re: #126 Thanos

Again, I don't think comparing health insurance to car, home, and shipping insurance is wise or sensible. The markets are not very comparable. If you were unable to get car insurance, you would be unable to drive a car. If you are unable to obtain health insurance because of an illness, you will have to spend enormous amounts of money on health care, or you will pass on your costs to the taxpayers at the emergency room, or you will simply not receive care.

Private insurers refuse treatment too, so I'm not even sure what your argument actually is.

Interesting, over the summer, when the town halls and all the other early debates about health care was just starting, the left was saying mandatory health insurance was no different than mandatory car insurance (I don't agree).

Now it's different?

141 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:34:28am

re: #137 Thanos

Right. Because the market can't bear the cost of some insurance markets, the Feds have to subsidize or support it.

Doesn't that work against what you've been saying, rather than for it?

142 cliffster  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:35:08am

How about this. Open up insurance coverage to interstate competition. Put fair rules in place to prevent bogus denial of coverage. I actually think that criminal charges for bogus denials that result in harm would be a good detractor. Open up competition, reduce fraud. That would be a good bill. I'd vote for it.

143 Killgore Trout  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:35:10am

On a semi-related topic...
Campaign Cash From Wall Street Favored Representatives Who Opposed Finance Reform Bill

Members of the House who voted against the measure collected 70 percent more from commercial banks since 1989, on average, than those supported it. And they raised an average of 50 percent more from credit and finance companies than the bill's supporters, CRP found.

144 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:35:25am

re: #140 Walter L. Newton

I don't know, Walter, when I run into "the Left" while I'm out shopping for gay atheist marijuana, I'll let you know what they say.

/

145 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:35:50am

re: #138 Charles

Why would Lamont be a bigger factor than campaign contributions?

146 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:36:08am

re: #131 Obdicut

I was answering your point directly. Private insurance will pay for experimental and new treatments that goverment won't. Got it?
That's pretty simple and clear.

As an aside the treatment is based somewhat on technique similar to what Kary Mullins describes here to kill Anthrax:

[Link: www.ted.com...]

147 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:36:15am

re: #113 Obdicut

One benefit that I've seen personally is a much more transparent, user-friendly bureaucracy. I've had various private insurers over the years, and my involvement with their claims-filing process has never amounted to anything more than handing my card over to the care provider. End of story. Filling out a Medicare claim, on the other hand, is a nightmarish experience that makes Kafka look like a mildly pleasant, if boring experience. And God Himself will be unable to help you should your claim be questioned, or fall behind someone's desk halfway through the Byzantine examination and approval process.

For comparison, if you've ever filled out the roughly hundred pages of forms required for FAFSA student loan approval, multiply that Augean labor by an order of magnitude and you'll begin to appreciate the joys of government run rampant.

148 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:37:05am

re: #144 Obdicut

I don't know, Walter, when I run into "the Left" while I'm out shopping for gay atheist marijuana, I'll let you know what they say.

/

great non-answer... thanks
//

149 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:37:46am

re: #142 cliffster

Do you know that you currently cannot sue health insurance companies if you get your insurance through your employer, for death resulting from their refusal to pay for a procedure? Or for harm, either?

Some lawyers are finding creative ways around that, but it's a major problem.

150 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:37:55am

re: #141 Obdicut

Right. Because the market can't bear the cost of some insurance markets, the Feds have to subsidize or support it.

Doesn't that work against what you've been saying, rather than for it?

No it argues for, the Feds are not supplier of all home insurance because private industry provides better choices.

Key word: CHOICE

You can continue to ignore it if you like

151 Blueheron  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:38:37am

re: #40 beekiller

I'm still worrying that soon my sister who has cancer will be dropped. She has cost them more than $100,000 and is only on her 3rd treatment. She goes into work a few days a week (deathly ill) because she's afraid she'll lose her coverage if she doesn't.


Beekiller maybe you could look into what your community hospitals provide. I know a woman who was out of work and diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the local hospital. They took care of her throughout the course of her disease and she is fine now.

152 Stanghazi  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:38:38am

re: #146 Thanos

I was answering your point directly. Private insurance will pay for experimental and new treatments that goverment won't. Got it?
That's pretty simple and clear.

As an aside the treatment is based somewhat on technique similar to what Kary Mullins describes here to kill Anthrax:

[Link: www.ted.com...]

Upding for Kary Mullis & Ted!!

153 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:38:51am

re: #145 Sharmuta

Why would Lamont be a bigger factor than campaign contributions?

I don't think it necessarily is -- nobody knows what Lieberman's motivation really is. But it seems clear that he's been jerking people around on this issue an awful lot, for whatever reasons.

154 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:39:23am

How long ago was that Lamont thing? Seems like a way to just paint Lieberman as petty, when special interests likely have more to do with it.

155 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:39:57am

re: #121 webevintage

Yes.
He told Reid he would support the medicare for 55 and up and then turned around this weekend and said he would not.
He also said Dems need to give MORE to Republicans even though none of them (except maybe Snowe) will evereverever vote for any form of health care reform.
And while they are in love with Medicare and want to protect it at all costs we all know that once this fight is over with the Rs will go back to looking for ways to dismantle Medicare.

The proposal, though, was to lower the eligibility age to 50, not 55. Did Lieberman give the nod to the even lower age limit?

As far as "dismantling" Medicare goes, it expanded prodigiously under Bush, and the Dems are basing their estimates of paying for nationalized health care on the premise that there are hundreds of billions of dollars of waste waiting to be squeezed out of it once they "reform" the program. Not sure if that amounts to "dismantling," but the sheer magnitude of it sounds close.

156 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:40:04am

re: #153 Charles

I don't think it necessarily is -- nobody knows what Lieberman's motivation really is. But it seems clear that he's been jerking people around on this issue an awful lot, for whatever reasons.

It could be focus group polls in his state -- he seems to shift with the wind.

157 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:40:33am

re: #124 lawhawk

Profit margin drives out fraud and abuse of services that we repeatedly see in Medicare and Medicaid (tens of billions annually in those federally administered programs). It can also work to reduce cost overhead since it drives the bottom line. So, in an industry where the historical profit margin is around 6%, and has been 3% in the past couple of years, trying to improve efficiencies in health insurance are paramount.


Exactly. In addition, private companies look for markets. For example, if there's a big enough market of people who ______ (e.g. are young, want very high deductible, cheap insurance), a private company will go there in search of a profit.

Try walking into a government office of ____and telling them that, sure, technically they meet your needs but you feel that you're underserved.

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

158 lawhawk  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:41:18am

re: #131 Obdicut

Actually, all you have to do is look at the balance sheets for those publicly traded companies - 10K, etc. and see that they account for fraud and other expenses, and that's precisely the kind of thing that they look to minimize precisely because eliminating fraud improves the bottom line.

Besides, do you think any private insurer would countenance hundreds of millions a year in fraud let alone billions? Not a chance. They wouldn't tolerate it in the slightest. Their shareholders wouldn't stand for it.

There are some metrics that play to levels of fraud and media coverage, but those don't tell you the dollar values involved. They simply note that Medicare/Medicaid fraud stories appear twice as much as medical false claims.

And the insurance fraud blog notes that insurance fraud in Medicare and Medicaid is $68-220 billion annually.

Others claim anywhere from 3-10% of the nation's health care spending was fraudulent (lumping public and private)- more than enough to cover all the uninsureds.

159 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:41:29am

re: #153 Charles

I'm going to stick with my #154. I think it's being used to paint Lieberman as petty, when it's likely he's more beholden to special interests back home.

160 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:42:29am

re: #146 Thanos

I was answering your point directly. Private insurance will pay for experimental and new treatments that goverment won't. Got it?
That's pretty simple and clear.

I'm not sure why you believe this to be true, though. I have dealt with both private and public insurance refusing various things for my grandmother. Private insurance denies stuff all the time. Surely you're not denying that, right?

re: #147 SixDegrees

I'm sorry, but my direct experience disagrees. I have had to deal with my grandmother's supplemental insurance, and her private medical insurance provided via my grandfather's pension plan, and her medicare, and I have found medicare to be easier to deal with than the other two.

I also know that from the perspective of doctors themselves, many private plans are a paperwork nightmare. That's one reason you have to check which doctor actually takes your insurance before going.

161 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:43:10am

re: #149 Obdicut

Do you know that you currently cannot sue health insurance companies if you get your insurance through your employer, for death resulting from their refusal to pay for a procedure? Or for harm, either?

Some lawyers are finding creative ways around that, but it's a major problem.


Smacks of rhetoric. People don't die because their insurance company won't pay for the procedure that has a 15% chance of success. People die from illnesses.

That's why this conversation/topic is so difficult to solve. It's not the job of insurance to keep us alive indefinitely regardless of cost.

162 cliffster  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:43:30am

re: #159 Sharmuta

I'm going to stick with my #154. I think it's being used to paint Lieberman as petty, when it's likely he's more beholden to special interests back home.

Special interests - like voters?

163 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:43:41am

re: #159 Sharmuta

I'm going to stick with my #154. I think it's being used to paint Lieberman as petty, when it's likely he's more beholden to special interests back home.

I have to agree with this.

164 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:44:01am

re: #154 Sharmuta

How long ago was that Lamont thing? Seems like a way to just paint Lieberman as petty, when special interests likely have more to do with it.

'That Lamont thing' was a serious effort to displace Lieberman, and had the effect that he had to run as an Independent, not a Democrat. It wouldn't be petty at all for Lieberman to still feel massive resentment over it.

It would be petty for it to result in grandstanding behaviour, constantly jerking the Dems around, and general dickishness, and a lot of people see that resentment as the best explanation for the pattern of behaviour.

165 Nadnerb  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:44:09am

Thank you Joe. Health care legislation as currently proposed is a complete travesty and needs to be stopped.

166 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:45:05am

re: #162 cliffster

Special interests - like voters?

Don't be silly! No politician is beholden to the electorate. We don't force them to be, so why would they give a damn what we think?

167 The Sanity Inspector  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:45:14am

re: #12 iceweasel

Except he doesn't vote his conscience. Cf the donations above in Charles' post.

The big donors give to both sides of the aisle. Trying to take the money out of politics is like trying to take jumping out of basketball, as Sen. Bill Bradley once said.

With such sweeping and probably irreversible legislation as health care insurance reform, it is right, good, and necessary for it to be required to pass the highest bar possible. Good for Lieberman for not being an easy Yea.

168 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:45:30am

re: #158 lawhawk

Sure, they'd countenance fraud, if the cost of getting rid of the fraud is higher than the cost of enduring the fraud. In addition, you're overlooking that some of the fraud-prevention techniques of the private insurers AND the public insurers deny coverage to those who should rightfully get it.

I'm pointing out you have no actual basis for your claim there's more fraud in Medicare than in private insurance, since private insurance is not transparent. I fully think that Medicare/Medicaid fraud is a huge problem and needs to be addressed; that doesn't mean, in any way, that private insurance is necessarily better in its approach to fraud.

169 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:46:06am

re: #156 Thanos

It could be focus group polls in his state -- he seems to shift with the wind.

The shifting and the lack of a coherent position, or rationale for his changing positions, is what makes people postulate he's motivated partly by resentment. Who knows.

170 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:46:13am

re: #164 iceweasel

'That Lamont thing' was a serious effort to displace Lieberman, and had the effect that he had to run as an Independent, not a Democrat. It wouldn't be petty at all for Lieberman to still feel massive resentment over it.

It would be petty for it to result in grandstanding behaviour, constantly jerking the Dems around, and general dickishness, and a lot of people see that resentment as the best explanation for the pattern of behaviour.

Yes but, I also think, and this is speculation and I could be wrong, that Lieberman knows now that he will never rise any higher politically than he has. I think he is cashing in on it and cutting his losses. It could be that both you and Sharmuta and Charles are all right at the same time.

171 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:46:28am

re: #160 Obdicut

Certainly they deny things, but you know what things they deny, and that doesn't change by gov't fiat. I know right now what the government won't cover in my Mom's case, and what private will.

I'm for a public option of "government covers catastrophic care as insurer of last resort" but to make a statement like "private insurance provides no value" is somewhat over the top populism.

172 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:46:52am

re: #170 LudwigVanQuixote

Yes but, I also think, and this is speculation and I could be wrong, that Lieberman knows now that he will never rise any higher politically than he has. I think he is cashing in on it and cutting his losses. It could be that both you and Sharmuta and Charles are all right at the same time.

Don't be silly! As the right-winger, I am clearly wrong.

173 cliffster  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:47:18am

re: #166 Sharmuta

Don't be silly! No politician is beholden to the electorate. We don't force them to be, so why would they give a damn what we think?

I gave you an upding for the persistent cynicism.

174 lawhawk  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:47:33am

re: #168 Obdicut

Want to try again?

175 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:47:57am

re: #141 Obdicut

Right. Because the market can't bear the cost of some insurance markets, the Feds have to subsidize or support it.

Doesn't that work against what you've been saying, rather than for it?

None of the above. If the market can't bear the cost, there is no market. If too few people can afford the price of insurance on a particular beachfront, then either the price will come down or the people won't buy. In this example, Fed intervention only distorts reality.

176 Mark Pennington  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:48:12am

re: #151 Blueheron

Beekiller maybe you could look into what your community hospitals provide. I know a woman who was out of work and diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the local hospital. They took care of her throughout the course of her disease and she is fine now.

Thank you. They haven't dropped her yet so maybe she will be lucky. If not, I'll keep that in mind. I'll work three jobs to help her if I have to.

177 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:48:22am

re: #148 Walter L. Newton

great non-answer... thanks
//

How is that a non-answer? He told you what he thinks.

178 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:49:08am

re: #160 Obdicut

You might want to reconsider your doctors, to be frank. Insurance billing on their side of the counter is highly computerized, much to the chagrin of people who trained for "high paying jobs in the medical industry" as claim entry clerks several years ago who are now finding themselves automated out of the marketplace - although standardizing claim numbers across all insurance companies would, in fact, be something the government could do that would simplify things even further.

And I'll match my experience head to head with yours. When I was caring for my grandparents, Medicare was a nightmare, private insurance was completely transparent.

179 subsailor68  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:49:25am

re: #141 Obdicut

Right. Because the market can't bear the cost of some insurance markets, the Feds have to subsidize or support it.

Doesn't that work against what you've been saying, rather than for it?

Hi Obdicut! It's really not so much the fact that the market can't bear the cost. In Thanos' example, he notes that federal agencies (e.g. FEMA) continue to fund the cost of rebuilding in a flood plain situation - often multiple times - whereas a private insurer would be more likely to either a) begin charging significantly higher premiums for flood insurance or b) simply say "hey dude, try building on higher ground next time."

;-)

180 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:49:45am

re: #171 Thanos

I have no idea, before submitting a claim for my grandmother, if her private insurer is going to deny it. I have had to fight many battles with them, and they often change their policies on the fly. I am glad that you know what will be covered for your mom-- and by the way, I hope she gets every inch of care that she needs.

I personally think that changing the way a policy works after someone has bought into it for 40+ years is one of the most problematic things about the private health insurance system.

181 Blueheron  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:49:54am

re: #120 Sharmuta

They are all bought and sold. All politicians are beholden to their donors. It's why I'm considering not voting anymore- my vote is meaningless unless I donate hundreds of thousands of dollars so that my interests get attention.


Just catching onto that eh?

182 simoom  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:50:06am

re: #96 simoom

I couldn't find it anywhere online, but I did happen to have the Newsweek in question laying around (Nov, 23rd 2009). Here are a couple excerpts from Alter's column:

The latest trouble started after Lieberman said on Fox that "as a matter of conscience" he would filibuster any health-care bill with a public option. Flashback: when he ran for reelection in 2006, Lieberman bragged about his MediChoice plan. It would "allow anybody in our country to buy into a national health-insurance pool like the federal employees and members of congress have." This sounds suspiciously like--ahem-- the public option.

...

Senate colleagues say Lieberman is consumed by his resentment toward liberals. Recently he saw Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Bastards, in which Germans are scalped and incinerated by vengeful Jews. He publicly pronounce it "cathartic". For Lieberman, defeating health-care reform would be the fulfillment of a revenge fantasy.
183 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:52:04am

re: #180 Obdicut

I have no idea, before submitting a claim for my grandmother, if her private insurer is going to deny it. I have had to fight many battles with them, and they often change their policies on the fly. I am glad that you know what will be covered for your mom-- and by the way, I hope she gets every inch of care that she needs.

I personally think that changing the way a policy works after someone has bought into it for 40+ years is one of the most problematic things about the private health insurance system.

I'll agree with you there, I think that there are several problems in health care that are distinct and separate, each could be a separate bill that would pass without much debate or bother. It's omnibus health bills that cause the problem.

184 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:52:27am

re: #174 lawhawk

That report says fraud is a huge problem for private insurers.

re: #179 subsailor68

Do you think that no Americans should live in earthquake zones, flood plains, and areas that get hit by tornadoes?

185 Blueheron  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:53:15am

re: #129 acwgusa

Medicare covers the federally determined disabled, and spouses and children who are surviving relatives.


Yes. What sort of regulation passed on a Friday night could cause a further expansion of those eligible?

186 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:53:25am

re: #182 simoom

That would be the perception of Lieberman, and not necessarily reality.

187 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:54:05am

re: #183 Thanos

I agree with you that a flurry of small bills would have been better than this one. I also think that catastrophic public option with private insurance for other stuff is good-- as long as you have some amount of publicly available preventable care, to stop catastrophes before they cost so damn much.

188 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:54:40am

re: #170 LudwigVanQuixote

Yes but, I also think, and this is speculation and I could be wrong, that Lieberman knows now that he will never rise any higher politically than he has. I think he is cashing in on it and cutting his losses. It could be that both you and Sharmuta and Charles are all right at the same time.

I'm absolutely certain he knows that. I think he foresees an extremely profitable future on the Sunday morning circuit as every rightie's favourite 'liberal'.

189 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:55:28am

re: #188 iceweasel

I'm absolutely certain he knows that. I think he foresees an extremely profitable future on the Sunday morning circuit as every rightie's favourite 'liberal'.

They get paid for appearing on the Sunday morning news shows?

190 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:55:39am

re: #182 simoom

Health care pools are not government plans, they are however new market niches for the insurance industry. e.g. if there were a no frill group plan out there offered to all "fast food workers" it would plug some of the gap.

191 political lunatic  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:56:27am

How is this guy still caucusing with the Democrats again? He knows he won't get reelected, so he is just doing this to cash in on health "insurance" companies donations. If the Dems had any spine, they would strip him of his chairmanships over this.

192 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:56:47am

re: #182 simoom

Whether all this turns out to be a profound character flaw on Lieberman's part, or an attempt at character assassination on the part of his detractors, my question is: who cares? All of this is speculative, at best, and none of it is going to change Lieberman's vote or anyone else's.

Only focusing on the legislation will do that. If it's true that Lieberman agreed to lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 55 and was then blindsided by a bill that lowered it to 50 instead, the bill's authors can easily solve that problem by changing the age back to 55 and toss the ball back to Lieberman.

193 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:57:36am

I suppose Lieberman also support a strong national defense because he's bitter and not because that's his position on the matter. I'm sure all of his votes are based purely on pissing off liberals and nothing else. What a mean, petty, vindictive man. ///

194 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:57:47am

re: #184 Obdicut


Do you think that no Americans should live in earthquake zones, flood plains, and areas that get hit by tornadoes?

Silly question.

Better question:

Do you think that i should have to contribute to the insurance bill of someone who DOES live in one of those areas?

195 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:58:06am

re: #182 simoom

I couldn't find it anywhere online, but I did happen to have the Newsweek in question laying around (Nov, 23rd 2009). Here are a couple excerpts from Alter's column:

Here's the Alter column:

Alter: Lieberman, Health Care, and Hurt Feelings

196 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:58:15am

re: #191 political lunatic

How is this guy still caucusing with the Democrats again? He knows he won't get reelected, so he is just doing this to cash in on health "insurance" companies donations. If the Dems had any spine, they would strip him of his chairmanships over this.

But they don't, so....

197 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:58:15am

BTW: I am not defending Lieberman here, like Charles I think he's being mercurial on this at minimum.

198 garhighway  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:58:16am

It is still too early to tell what Lieberman and many other middle-of-the-roaders will do. They are all jockeying for advantage as they try to maximize the value of their vote.

This is the messy, smelly part of democracy that drives me crazy. I think it is clear that we need some change to the health insurance system. No denials for pre-existing conditions, community rating/pricing, and some way to make sure that people who have lost their coverage have some reasonable access to health care at a minimum. Put those three things, with nothing else attached, to a popular vote and it passes 80/20.

But this has devolved into an ugly partisan scrum, with prospective "yes" votes trying to hold up Reid for the maximum possible reward and the "no" votes saying outlandish stuff ("death panels") to slime something that they know would be pretty popular if it was fairly explained.

Statesmanship has long since gone out the window. I applaud BHO for trying, but watching this has become unbearably painful.

199 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:58:23am

re: #172 Sharmuta

Don't be silly! As the right-winger, I am clearly wrong.

Why do you make it so hard for me?

200 simoom  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:59:13am

re: #186 Sharmuta

That would be the perception of Lieberman, and not necessarily reality.

I have to agree. Even just quoting speculation as to someone else's' motives made me somewhat uncomfortable.

201 califleftyb  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:59:34am

39 House Democrats voted against the Health care bill...quick name one!
Remember when Obama led Lieberman off the floor of the Senate to publicly
browbeat him to the delight of the anti-Lieberman crowd? Politics is personal, and payback's a bitch.

202 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:59:46am

re: #199 LudwigVanQuixote

I thought the default position of 'the right is wrong about everything' would make it easier for you.

203 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 10:59:54am

re: #191 political lunatic

How is this guy still caucusing with the Democrats again? He knows he won't get reelected, so he is just doing this to cash in on health "insurance" companies donations. If the Dems had any spine, they would strip him of his chairmanships over this.

They've threatened that already. At the moment, such an action would simply guarantee them a loss. Not a wise move.

204 The Sanity Inspector  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:00:05am

re: #190 Thanos

Health care pools are not government plans, they are however new market niches for the insurance industry. e.g. if there were a no frill group plan out there offered to all "fast food workers" it would plug some of the gap.

A good idea. But, who would pay for it, and could the private insurer--if that's what you mean--make any money from it? Low income people tend to be less healthy, remember.

205 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:00:14am

re: #194 Aceofwhat?

Do you think that no Americans should live in earthquake zones, flood plains, and areas that get hit by tornadoes?

Silly question.

Better question:

Do you think that i should have to contribute to the insurance bill of someone who DOES live in one of those areas?

And to answer that, I ask this:

Do you think you should have to contribute to emergency aid to places hit by hurricanes?

206 Gus  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:00:16am

What a society. Since 1990 we've spent the following on lobbying interests.

Health - $866,542,699
Insurance - $324,658,744
Pharmaceuticals / Health Products - $177,030,005

That's a total of $1,368,231,448 over the course of 19 years.

This is on lobbying alone. There's also advertising, legal, special interest lobbying regarding abortion or tobacco, state lobbying, media coverage, etc.

Billions of dollars on paper and rhetoric.

207 Racer X  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:00:29am

re: #199 LudwigVanQuixote

Why do you make it so hard for me?

. . . must . . refrain

208 subsailor68  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:00:43am

re: #184 Obdicut

That report says fraud is a huge problem for private insurers.

re: #179 subsailor68

Do you think that no Americans should live in earthquake zones, flood plains, and areas that get hit by tornadoes?

No, people can live wherever they choose. I simply note that they should expect insurance companies to take those factors into account when setting premiums. And, in the case of flood plains, not to be surprised if after the second or third time, the companies decline to keep sending out checks.

That's the problem I have with federal programs. If you choose to live in these areas, don't expect the feds to keep reimbursing you either.

209 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:00:44am

re: #200 simoom

I have to agree. Even just quoting speculation as to someone else's' motives made me somewhat uncomfortable.

It would be easier to chalk things up to personal vindictiveness than it would be to examine his position and understand it.

210 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:00:46am

re: #202 Sharmuta

I thought the default position of 'the right is wrong about everything' would make it easier for you.

LOL

211 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:02:05am

re: #191 political lunatic

How is this guy still caucusing with the Democrats again? He knows he won't get reelected, so he is just doing this to cash in on health "insurance" companies donations. If the Dems had any spine, they would strip him of his chairmanships over this.

Also, this guy is the Democrat's 60th vote in the Senate. Losing him strips them of their otherwise bullet-proof majority.

212 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:02:27am

re: #208 subsailor68

I think that's rather an oversimplification. A lot of places that have those dangers are also economically important to the US; it's a net benefit to us to have people living and working there. We'd be a poorer nation without them living and working there, even if we have to provide emergency aid after hurricanes smack them around and subsidize flood insurance.

213 cliffster  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:02:31am

re: #208 subsailor68

That's the problem I have with federal programs. If you choose to live in these areas, don't expect the feds to keep reimbursing you either.

They do expect that. And the feds will.

214 CommonCents  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:02:46am

re: #156 Thanos

It could be focus group polls in his state -- he seems to shift with the wind.

Or shifts with the focus group polls of the people he represents. Ironically, he IS their representative in the Senate.

215 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:03:10am

re: #211 SixDegrees

Also, this guy is the Democrat's 60th vote in the Senate. Losing him strips them of their otherwise bullet-proof majority.

It's hardly a bullet-proof majority with him.

216 Racer X  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:03:55am

Science break -

Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light

Very trippy!

217 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:04:00am

re: #205 Obdicut

And to answer that, I ask this:

Do you think you should have to contribute to emergency aid to places hit by hurricanes?

A very personal answer is that i am happy to contribute to emergency rescue operations, even if a few bucks go to the rescue of some idiot who should have evacuated but didn't.

I am not happy to contribute to the rebuilding of beach houses.

218 Kragar  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:04:29am

Why Egypt is building a steel underground wall

The immediate objective is obvious: to severely disrupt the flourishing smuggling trade carried out in an extensive subterranean network of tunnels under the border. The smugglers provide everything from food to weapons for Gazans, who are largely cut off from the outside world due to an Israeli blockade.

Analysts disagree, however, about Egypt’s broader goals, which appear contradictory and are obscured by the fact that Cairo has yet to acknowledge the existence of the project. But it appears that Egypt is trying to strike a balance between remaining a key ally of the US while at the same time shoring up its position as an influential player in a neighborhood that often views Washington unfavorably.

“Egypt is walking a tightrope between its commitments to Arabs and directly to the Palestinian cause and at the same time its commitment to enhancing international security,” says Gamal Soltan, political analyst at the Al-Ahram Center in Cairo, a government-funded think tank.

But constructing a wall is a significant departure from the mere rhetoric Egypt has used to exert pressure in the past. This time, Egypt’s balancing act might backfire, especially given that fact that the Arab world was highly critical of Egypt for closing the Rafah border during the Israeli incursion on Gaza last year and cooperating with Israel on the economic blockade.

219 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:04:38am

re: #204 The Sanity Inspector

A good idea. But, who would pay for it, and could the private insurer--if that's what you mean--make any money from it? Low income people tend to be less healthy, remember.

The one thing that health insurance co's do well is actuarial tables, they are the masters of them. If there's a way to build a profitable plan to cover part time retail and fast food workers they are capable of it. I think there's a way, and there's a market.

220 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:05:13am

re: #202 Sharmuta

I thought the default position of 'the right is wrong about everything' would make it easier for you.

Unless you secretly like Inhofe, Palin, Barton, Beck and Rush not to mention RSM, Geller et al, you are no more the right these days than I am the left.

221 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:06:33am

re: #214 CommonCents

Or shifts with the focus group polls of the people he represents. Ironically, he IS their representative in the Senate.

I meant the wind in his state, which like other states has probably been shifting and veering back and forth like the rest of the country during the health care reform scrum in Congress.

222 subsailor68  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:06:34am

re: #212 Obdicut

I think that's rather an oversimplification. A lot of places that have those dangers are also economically important to the US; it's a net benefit to us to have people living and working there. We'd be a poorer nation without them living and working there, even if we have to provide emergency aid after hurricanes smack them around and subsidize flood insurance.

I'm not sure to which places you are referring, but I'll guess perhaps gulf coast refineries for example. Disaster aid to areas providing essential goods to the nation overall - okay.

On the other hand, just not sure why taxpayers should fund rebuilding beachfront homes in Malibu.

223 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:06:35am

re: #220 LudwigVanQuixote

I don't consider those people to be on the right. They are off the map.

224 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:07:09am

re: #217 Aceofwhat?

Okay. I think that's penny-wise, but pound-foolish, for the reasons I gave above.

re: #219 Thanos

Then why doesn't that market exist already? Why are there no insurers who cater to those who are poor, with pre-existing conditions?

There isn't a natural market, ever, for those who will cost more than they will pay-- as a group. Actuarial tables are used to identify those populations, and insurance companies have every incentive to exclude them.

225 baier  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:07:24am

This whole thing makes me angry. The left is totally off the mark on health care reform, the right is out to lunch, and in the end we'll probably just get stuck with a bloody mess that we'll be cleaning up for the next 20 years.

226 Neutral President  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:07:59am

re: #223 Sharmuta

I don't consider those people to be on the right. They are off the map.

They are on the map still. The area labeled "Here there be kooks."

227 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:08:02am

re: #212 Obdicut

I think that's rather an oversimplification. A lot of places that have those dangers are also economically important to the US; it's a net benefit to us to have people living and working there. We'd be a poorer nation without them living and working there, even if we have to provide emergency aid after hurricanes smack them around and subsidize flood insurance.

Perhaps some of those places are worth subsidizing. But certainly not en masse. I live pretty close to the beach...I could live a little farther away, as could the rest of my neighbors, and we'd still make it to work every day. This stuff is too expensive for generalizations.

228 Racer X  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:08:03am

Bush got kicked around last night for not including certain aspects of aid in what was delivered to Africa. Fine.

Shouldn't we hold out for something better when it comes to a radical shift in American health care? There is still a huge divide on what is best.

229 Kragar  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:08:10am

re: #223 Sharmuta

I don't consider those people to be on the right. They are off the map.

Here there be monsters.

230 lawhawk  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:08:18am

The White House is pressuring Reid to make a 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.), which would mean eliminating 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.”

Okay, so the White House wants a deal done. The Democrats want a health care package done, and it looks like Lieberman's holdup is actually giving Reid cover to wait for the latest CBO scoring of the Medicare buy in.

Like so much of what is going on with this health care debate, the cost appears to be taking a back seat to the regular order of business - politics. Had Lieberman gone along with this nonsense, the CBO scoring wouldn't have made a difference (or mattered to the Democrats) since this is what the Democrat majority wanted.

231 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:09:09am

re: #194 Aceofwhat?

Do you think that no Americans should live in earthquake zones, flood plains, and areas that get hit by tornadoes?

Silly question.

Better question:

Do you think that i should have to contribute to the insurance bill of someone who DOES live in one of those areas?

And this points out a crucial confusion that many people make: what the government offers, whether to protect against flood or ill health, is not insurance. It's rates are determined by political factors, not by risk.

It's entirely possible to find private flood insurance for properties that sit in major flood plains - for an exorbitant price that is determined by the actual risk of flooding involved and the worth of the property insured. Just as it is possible to purchase private health insurance with a history of heart disease. What the government offers in place of these are policies that are much, much cheaper, because the government doesn't have to assume the actual risk of paying out on the claims - it simply passes the cost along to the nation's taxpayers.

For better or worse, this isn't insurance, or anything close to it.

232 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:09:11am

By the way, here's an example of a Democrat selling out taxpayers for the sake of Unions, with a side benefit to the health insurers:

Waxman refused a vote on health care insurers immunity to individuals' suits

Unions like the provision that individuals can't sue health insurers, because it gives them, the unions, more leverage, since health insurance is one of the things they can offer members.

233 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:09:31am

re: #224 Obdicut

Because of gov't regulations that cut both ways. Remember that you cannot form a nationwide pool without some regulation. States individually regulate insurance, and it takes fed regulation and sanction to get around that - e.g. AARP's "medigap" offerings come to mind.

234 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:09:55am

re: #215 iceweasel

It's hardly a bullet-proof majority with him.

No, it isn't. But on this particular issue, he's the only one threatening to bail.

235 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:09:56am

re: #216 Racer X

Science break -

Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light

Very trippy!

Cool. Wonderfully timed, too. We need a good science break every now and then to keep our temperatures at a low simmer...

236 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:10:34am

re: #228 Racer X

Bush got kicked around last night for not including certain aspects of aid in what was delivered to Africa. Fine.

No, that's not true. He got "kicked around" for specifically blocking birth control and family planning funding in Africa. That's way different than "not including" it.

237 Mad Al-Jaffee  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:10:54am

Did anyone watch Dexter last night? Pretty amazing season finale.

238 Racer X  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:11:03am

re: #230 lawhawk

The White House is pressuring Reid to make a deal with Lieberman.

Okay, so the White House wants a deal done. The Democrats want a health care package done, and it looks like Lieberman's holdup is actually giving Reid cover to wait for the latest CBO scoring of the Medicare buy in.

Like so much of what is going on with this health care debate, the cost appears to be taking a back seat to the regular order of business - politics. Had Lieberman gone along with this nonsense, the CBO scoring wouldn't have made a difference (or mattered to the Democrats) since this is what the Democrat majority wanted.

I'm sorry - this is despicable. Harry Reid should not be forcing decisions without all of the facts.

239 The Sanity Inspector  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:11:12am

re: #206 Gus 802

What a society. Since 1990 we've spent the following on lobbying interests.

Health - $866,542,699
Insurance - $324,658,744
Pharmaceuticals / Health Products - $177,030,005

That's a total of $1,368,231,448 over the course of 19 years.

This is on lobbying alone. There's also advertising, legal, special interest lobbying regarding abortion or tobacco, state lobbying, media coverage, etc.

Billions of dollars on paper and rhetoric.

Washington lobbyists have a saying: "If you're not at the table, you're on the menu."

240 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:11:26am

re: #233 Thanos

I'm sorry, that is not true. Actuarial tables can identify populations who will cost more over the lifetime of the policy than they will ever be able to put in. There is no natural market to cover health insurance for those who are poor and sick-- or even just sick enough.

241 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:12:11am

re: #237 Mad Al-Jaffee

Did anyone watch Dexter last night? Pretty amazing season finale.

I'm dumfounded, what are they going to do about the kids next season? Will Dexter start imparting "the code" to Dexter jr?

242 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:12:27am

re: #230 lawhawk

The White House is pressuring Reid to make a deal with Lieberman.

Okay, so the White House wants a deal done. The Democrats want a health care package done, and it looks like Lieberman's holdup is actually giving Reid cover to wait for the latest CBO scoring of the Medicare buy in.

Like so much of what is going on with this health care debate, the cost appears to be taking a back seat to the regular order of business - politics. Had Lieberman gone along with this nonsense, the CBO scoring wouldn't have made a difference (or mattered to the Democrats) since this is what the Democrat majority wanted.

Not at all.

Lieberman Medicare Flip-Flop

Noting that the CBO is expected to say that the proposal will neither increase the deficit nor harm Medicare’s solvency, Ezra Klein surmises that Lieberman “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.”

243 Racer X  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:12:47am

re: #236 Charles

No, that's not true. He got "kicked around" for specifically blocking birth control and family planning funding in Africa. That's way different than "not including" it.

I stand corrected. Sorry for the confusion.

244 Blueheron  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:12:58am

re: #217 Aceofwhat?

A very personal answer is that i am happy to contribute to emergency rescue operations, even if a few bucks go to the rescue of some idiot who should have evacuated but didn't.

I am not happy to contribute to the rebuilding of beach houses.


Keep in mind that in a state like Florida there are only two north south roads which makes it very fun to escape.

245 captdiggs  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:14:07am

Interesting fact. Lieberman ranks 69th out of 100 senators in receiving healthcare PAC monies.
[Link: www.fivethirtyeight.com...]

246 cliffster  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:14:28am

re: #238 Racer X

I'm sorry - this is despicable. Harry Reid should not be forcing decisions without all of the facts.

"Oh for fuck's sake, this is so frustrating, why should we have to wait for data to come out before making a decision? I've already told them what their findings need to be - this waiting around is foolish."

247 karmic_inquisitor  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:14:37am

Well I just can't wait till the Democrats "reform" Wall Street.

[Link: www.opensecrets.org...]

248 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:14:40am

re: #240 Obdicut

I'm sorry, that is not true. Actuarial tables can identify populations who will cost more over the lifetime of the policy than they will ever be able to put in. There is no natural market to cover health insurance for those who are poor and sick-- or even just sick enough.

BS. Actuarial tables allow the insurers to shave some profit out of offering insurance to large groups. Each demographic group has it's breakpoint for profit, and there are some minimal plans that could be offered to the groups I mentioned if regs were not in the way.

249 The Sanity Inspector  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:14:43am

re: #219 Thanos

The one thing that health insurance co's do well is actuarial tables, they are the masters of them. If there's a way to build a profitable plan to cover part time retail and fast food workers they are capable of it. I think there's a way, and there's a market.

If the big insurers can't swing it, maybe there's an opening for some imaginative Yunnus micro-finance type insurance. No idea how it would work, though.

250 Racer X  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:14:52am

re: #237 Mad Al-Jaffee

Did anyone watch Dexter last night? Pretty amazing season finale.

I'm thinking the show has jumped the shark (and I really hate that expression). There is no way Arthur could have gone back and killed Rita in that time frame. And the missing oil cap? Dexter shows up right when the engine blows up? WTH?

Good show though.

251 Ayeless in Ghazi  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:15:05am

OT: BNP reacts to news that some British Jews protested against a rabid anti-muslim group with anti-semitic bile : "You dull thick stupid cretins. Where are the brains of the “chosen” ones?"

The BNP’s ‘pro-Jewish’, ‘pro-Israel’ rhetoric is a sham

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the BNP’s claim that it is not an anti-Semitic organisation and that it is a friend of Israel is pure opportunism. In reality, the party remains infested with Jew haters who are adopting a superficially pro-Jewish, pro-Israel line as part of their race based campaign which is currently wrapped up in the language of anti-Islamism.

First they have come for the Muslims, later they’ll come for the Jews.

[Link: www.hurryupharry.org...]

252 Locker  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:15:29am

re: #232 Obdicut

By the way, here's an example of a Democrat selling out taxpayers for the sake of Unions, with a side benefit to the health insurers:

Waxman refused a vote on health care insurers immunity to individuals' suits

Unions like the provision that individuals can't sue health insurers, because it gives them, the unions, more leverage, since health insurance is one of the things they can offer members.

Seems like it could be a sell out to protect insurance companies as opposed to some union thing. The article you linked indicates that it's not just union negotiated health insurance but also plans which are a benefit of employment which are allowed to sue.

Representative Frank Pallone Junior (D-NJ/6) who in his career has received millions in campaign contributions from the health care and insurance industries originally raised the point of order. Thus consequently, the bill passed out of committee by a vote of 31 to 28 with the tort immunity in tact. The full house will have a chance to vote on the bill upon returning from their August recess.

Maybe there is another article or more information tying this vote block to some union favoritism but I can't really see that in the information provided.

253 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:15:33am

re: #237 Mad Al-Jaffee

Did anyone watch Dexter last night? Pretty amazing season finale.


Shush. i watch it on demand. no spilling.

254 Locker  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:16:43am

re: #252 Locker

Basically I'm saying that the insurance companies seem the primary benefit of this blocked vote, not the union.

255 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:16:51am

re: #248 Thanos

BS. Actuarial tables allow the insurers to shave some profit out of offering insurance to large groups. Each demographic group has it's breakpoint for profit, and there are some minimal plans that could be offered to the groups I mentioned if regs were not in the way.

Please state what regulations are in the way.

You are absolutely correct to say that each group has its breakpoint for profit. That necessarily means that there are some groups that are too poor to be able to pay that amount. And for some illnesses, that point is so high that there is no company that would take them on.

256 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:17:07am

re: #238 Racer X

I'm sorry - this is despicable. Harry Reid should not be forcing decisions without all of the facts.

It exposes Reid as wretchedly incompetent and ineffective. If he wants a showdown, his party has everything to lose; Lieberman stands to lose little, and may gain much if he's in a mood to horse trade. Reid stands to lose his landmark bill; Lieberman, at worst, get stripped of his committee chairmanships on his way to retirement.

I suspect Reid will be gone next year. He's not a clear thinker.

257 Mad Al-Jaffee  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:17:47am

re: #250 Racer X

I think Dexter was following him and was responsbile for the oil cap.

I'm not sure how Trinity was able to get to Rita. Some poster on the av club discussion gave a pretty plausable idea, but I forget the details.

258 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:17:48am

re: #234 SixDegrees

No, it isn't. But on this particular issue, he's the only one threatening to bail.

He's not the only one on the 'left' threatening to block health reform; Ben Nelson (D) is being an ass about abortion. At least Nelson's opposition does have a principle, although it is one I disagree with, whereas Lieberman's opposition, not so much.


Tick-Tock: Waiting for Nelson on Health Care

259 cliffster  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:18:12am

re: #247 karmic_inquisitor

Well I just can't wait till the Democrats "reform" Wall Street.

[Link: www.opensecrets.org...]

Damn those Republicans, being in bed with evil Wall Street. //

260 Vicious Babushka  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:18:23am

I just had buttermilk waffles for lunch.

261 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:18:29am

re: #252 Locker

Oh, sorry, you're right: I was assuming a sellout to unions rather than to the healthcare companies based on little info. However, health insurance plans are traditionally one of the largest incentives to join a union.

You're right that I assumed too much.

262 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:18:56am

re: #244 Blueheron

Keep in mind that in a state like Florida there are only two north south roads which makes it very fun to escape.

Eh, that's ok. In NE Florida, there are a couple of really expensive homes on the beach and then most of the rest of the proletariat live 10-30 min away. But i can certainly say that there isn't anything here in real danger that any of you should have to subsidize via Federal insurance.

263 ExCamelJockey  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:19:09am

re: #138 Charles

Yep, that's what I thought I remembered reading.

It's hard to see this as anything other than a sleazy move. I don't know if the stories that he's consumed with anger over the Ned LaMont situation are true, but it does seem like this is more than simply a reasoned change of mind.

It may be a "sleazy move" but at least it brings him in line with his constituents (and most of America for that matter).

What word would you use to describe the politians who are pushing for government run healthcare provisions when their own constituents are almost universally against it?

Gallup
Rasmussen
Reid's State

264 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:19:27am

re: #255 Obdicut

Please state what regulations are in the way.

You are absolutely correct to say that each group has its breakpoint for profit. That necessarily means that there are some groups that are too poor to be able to pay that amount. And for some illnesses, that point is so high that there is no company that would take them on.

Again each state regulates on its own - you can't get a large semi consistent demographic pool out of those workers without something that's nationwide.

265 yoshicastmaster  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:22:40am

i'm lovin joe's stance on not expanding entitlements.

that's my senator folks! hells yah!

266 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:23:04am

re: #260 Alouette

i'm jealous

267 Mad Al-Jaffee  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:23:44am

re: #260 Alouette

in bed?

268 Achilles Tang  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:24:17am

re: #165 Nadnerb

Thank you Joe. Health care legislation as currently proposed is a complete travesty and needs to be stopped.

.. you mean needs to be stopped as long as the other side might get credit for it, don't you? (works in both directions).

269 blueraven  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:24:30am

re: #230 lawhawk

The White House is pressuring Reid to make a deal with Lieberman.


Okay, so the White House wants a deal done. The Democrats want a health care package done, and it looks like Lieberman's holdup is actually giving Reid cover to wait for the latest CBO scoring of the Medicare buy in.

Like so much of what is going on with this health care debate, the cost appears to be taking a back seat to the regular order of business - politics. Had Lieberman gone along with this nonsense, the CBO scoring wouldn't have made a difference (or mattered to the Democrats) since this is what the Democrat majority wanted.

All of this for an un-sourced story using an un-named "official close to the negotiations"? Why am I little skeptical?

270 What, me worry?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:24:52am

re: #237 Mad Al-Jaffee

Did anyone watch Dexter last night? Pretty amazing season finale.

Mr. Moon can't stop going on about it!

271 Kragar  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:25:15am

re: #257 Mad Al-Jaffee

I think Dexter was following him and was responsbile for the oil cap.

I'm not sure how Trinity was able to get to Rita. Some poster on the av club discussion gave a pretty plausable idea, but I forget the details.

Rita's dead? Shit.

272 karmic_inquisitor  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:26:16am

re: #259 cliffster

Damn those Republicans, being in bed with evil Wall Street. //

chose any election cycle for the senate in the database and try to find a year where the list isn't dominated by D's.

it is a myth that Dems combat wall street. it is also a myth that wall street likes competition - it doesn't and it uses lawmaking to create protected, bubble driven markets that distort capital flows and keep money flowing through manhattan brokerages.

Who is lending money to small business right now? All that free money from our grandchildren? Not going to business activity - it's playing currency markets and leveraged commodity plays. But at least the headlines today show that the Obama Admin is asking wall street to please start lending again. Pretty please.

273 Racer X  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:26:34am

re: #271 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Rita's dead? Shit.

I'm thinking the kids go live with Grandma, and Dexter unleashes his inner asshole on more bad guys.

274 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:27:57am

re: #264 Thanos

Again each state regulates on its own - you can't get a large semi consistent demographic pool out of those workers without something that's nationwide.

What does that have to do with the fact that the pool, no matter how large, is unprofitable?

There is no natural health insurance market for those who are poor and chronically/seriously sick, any more than there is an insurance market for those who are poor and want to insure a mansion against fire.

It doesn't matter how big you make the pool, if you can identify that that specific demographic, as a group, costs more than they pay into the system. And those groups are identifiable.

275 Locker  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:29:39am

re: #261 Obdicut

Oh, sorry, you're right: I was assuming a sellout to unions rather than to the healthcare companies based on little info. However, health insurance plans are traditionally one of the largest incentives to join a union.

You're right that I assumed too much.

I have a lot of Union experience but only in the specific situation of being a state employee and it's a bit different for us. Basically the health care plans are a benefit of employment. The union does negotiate with the state if they happen to attack our health care benefits but they don't actually negotiate with insurance companies or provide primary health care plans.

We do get a few regular mailers for supplemental health stuff like life insurance, long term care, etc. Additionally you don't really have a choice with regard to union membership. EVERYONE is a union member and the dues are automatically deducted. You can either pay the standard fee and be a nonvoting member or pay more and get to vote. Personally I'm a voting member.

276 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:30:17am

re: #257 Mad Al-Jaffee

I think Dexter was following him and was responsbile for the oil cap.

I'm not sure how Trinity was able to get to Rita. Some poster on the av club discussion gave a pretty plausable idea, but I forget the details.

He would have found Dexter's address, or other indicators at Deb's apartment when he was searching it and gone directly there and then picked up the Mustang, at which point Dexter started following him.

277 karmic_inquisitor  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:30:58am

re: #269 blueraven

All of this for an un-sourced story using an un-named "official close to the negotiations"? Why am I little skeptical?

Kinda missed the reporting the article that beats back the whole "Lieberman changed his mind" meme.


"Contrary to the claims of anonymous aides, Senator Lieberman told Reid on Friday that he had problems with the Medicare provision," Lieberman spokesman Marshall Wittman said in a statement.

"This position was also told to negotiators earlier in the week. Consequently, Senator Lieberman's position came as no surprise to the Democratic leadership. Any contrary charge by aides who cowardly seek to hide under the cloak of anonymity is false and self-serving," he added.

Wittman issued the statement in response to reports that Lieberman, according to anonymous Senate Democratic aides, had initially indicated support for a proposal allowing uninsured individuals as young as 55 to purchase Medicare coverage.

278 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:31:15am

re: #274 Obdicut

What does that have to do with the fact that the pool, no matter how large, is unprofitable?

There is no natural health insurance market for those who are poor and chronically/seriously sick, any more than there is an insurance market for those who are poor and want to insure a mansion against fire.

It doesn't matter how big you make the pool, if you can identify that that specific demographic, as a group, costs more than they pay into the system. And those groups are identifiable.

It's not unprofitable done right, you keep asserting that but offer no proof. A few years back nobody thought you could sell pre paid phones or cards and make money either.

279 Nadnerb  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:31:29am

re: #268 Naso Tang

No, I mean it needs to be stopped for the sake of our future. It is a gigantic entitlement program further expanding the government into your life and mine. If it's as well managed as Medicare, then we're in for a hell of a ride.

280 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:32:02am

re: #275 Locker

Government unions and private industry unions are not the same.

281 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:32:58am

re: #278 Thanos

It's not unprofitable done right, you keep asserting that but offer no proof. A few years back nobody thought you could sell pre paid phones or cards and make money either.

I'm sorry, but that's what actuarial tables do. You said that for every group that there's a breakpoint for profit, right? So what if you can identify a group that will never make that breakpoint for profit?

If you can identify a group as having a medical condition that, on average, costs $2,000 a month to treat, how on earth are you going to make a profit off of providing them health insurance, if they can't pay more than $2,000 a month for it?

282 lawhawk  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:33:24am

re: #242 iceweasel

The Medicare system is already insolvent and trying to ignore that while trying to claim that Medicare is the solution is farcical. It's expected to be toast as early as 2017 (and that date keeps moving up as the most recent estimates moved it from 2019 to 2017 based on usage and costs).

283 simoom  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:35:14am

I looked around for some recent polling on the public option in Connecticut.

Here's a Quinnipiac poll from mid-November:

[Link: www.quinnipiac.edu...]

64. Do you support or oppose giving people the option of being covered by a government health insurance plan that would compete with private plans?

...,,,. Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom
Support 56% 28% 76% 54% 54% 57%
Oppose_ 37% 68% 14% 41% 39% 35%
DK/NA... 8%_ 5% 10%_ 6%_ 7%_ 8%

284 Kragar  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:36:13am

re: #273 Racer X

I'm thinking the kids go live with Grandma, and Dexter unleashes his inner asshole on more bad guys.

I'm thinking more of him and Deb watching the kids. Been waiting to watch because I like watching the whole season at once, rather than week to week. I'll catch up over the next week or two.

285 Racer X  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:36:16am

re: #282 lawhawk

The Medicare system is already insolvent and trying to ignore that while trying to claim that Medicare is the solution is farcical. It's expected to be toast as early as 2017 (and that date keeps moving up as the most recent estimates moved it from 2019 to 2017 based on usage and costs).

The only solution to health care and the coming Medicare implosion is to go all-in. Everyone must participate. Young folks will need to pay in. Sorry kids. I see no other alternative.

286 KenJen  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:36:16am

re: #282 lawhawk

The Medicare system is already insolvent and trying to ignore that while trying to claim that Medicare is the solution is farcical. It's expected to be toast as early as 2017 (and that date keeps moving up as the most recent estimates moved it from 2019 to 2017 based on usage and costs).

hmmm....that's getting awfully close to 2012.

287 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:37:17am

re: #281 Obdicut

I'm sorry, but that's what actuarial tables do. You said that for every group that there's a breakpoint for profit, right? So what if you can identify a group that will never make that breakpoint for profit?

If you can identify a group as having a medical condition that, on average, costs $2,000 a month to treat, how on earth are you going to make a profit off of providing them health insurance, if they can't pay more than $2,000 a month for it?

Ok come back to reality. What group is that? I'm saying that there are demographic striae that could turn a profit and offer new markets, and now you are proposing theoretical groups that can't make a profit. In reality "all retail workers" would make a great market. They tend to be young and healthier, while the elderly workers in the group would not sign up because they are covered by medicare.

In other words you are moving goal posts each time you get refuted and I"m done playing with you.

288 Ayeless in Ghazi  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:37:49am

Iceweasel and I are off down the pub for the evening - night folks:)

Leaving you with a little 'Chung King' ...

289 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:38:44am

re: #281 Obdicut

I'm sorry, but that's what actuarial tables do. You said that for every group that there's a breakpoint for profit, right? So what if you can identify a group that will never make that breakpoint for profit?

If you can identify a group as having a medical condition that, on average, costs $2,000 a month to treat, how on earth are you going to make a profit off of providing them health insurance, if they can't pay more than $2,000 a month for it?


Not that simple. Break down that population further. Smokers, for example, receive very little sympathy from me.

290 simoom  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:40:48am

re: #283 simoom

Here's a Quinnipiac poll from mid-November:

[Link: ]

Hmm, looks like I messed up the url. Second try on the link to that CT poll:

[Link: www.quinnipiac.edu...]

291 Vicious Babushka  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:41:14am

These guys really have the holiday spirit:

UK Jews Light World's First Whisky Menorah (filled with 65 litres of Tullibardine single malt)

292 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:41:29am

re: #258 iceweasel

He's not the only one on the 'left' threatening to block health reform; Ben Nelson (D) is being an ass about abortion. At least Nelson's opposition does have a principle, although it is one I disagree with, whereas Lieberman's opposition, not so much.


Tick-Tock: Waiting for Nelson on Health Care

Huh? Call me an ass if my stance on abortion differs from yours...but is someone an ass for not wanting to pay for another's abortion?

Seems like a stretch.

293 blueraven  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:41:53am

re: #277 karmic_inquisitor


So Lieberman's aides attacking the validity of anonymous sources (and rightly so IMO), makes up for a totally anonymous source for the whole premise of this article?

I am just really tired of gossip, from both sides.

294 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:41:56am

re: #289 Aceofwhat?

Not that simple. Break down that population further. Smokers, for example, receive very little sympathy from me.

and from most insurance plans, most plans now have higher premiums for smokers to cover the higher costs.

295 lawhawk  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:42:23am

re: #291 Alouette

These guys really have the holiday spirit:

UK Jews Light World's First Whisky Menorah (filled with 65 litres of Tullibardine single malt)

Alcohol abuse! That's drinking whiskey!

296 Vicious Babushka  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:43:49am

re: #295 lawhawk

Alcohol abuse! That's drinking whiskey!

The menorah is actually one huge glass bottle, which will be drained during the holiday. :)

297 RogueOne  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:44:17am

Speaking of A-hole politicians, I'm glad this is coming back to bite Boxer in the ass. I just hope it ends up being a big bite:

WASHINGTON - The widely played video clip of U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer reprimanding a general for calling her "ma'am" is the gift that keeps on giving for the two Republicans hoping to challenge her next year.
.......
During a hearing last June, Boxer interrupted Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh of the Army Corps of Engineers in mid-sentence: "Do me a favor?" she said. "Could you say 'senator' instead of 'ma'am?' It's just a thing. I worked so hard to get that title, so I'd appreciate it. Yes, thank you.

298 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:46:12am

Hamas mobilizes mass rally in show of strength

Hamas mobilized tens of thousands of supporters on Monday for an anniversary rally meant to show the Islamic militant group has not lost support despite Israel's devastating military assault on Gaza a year ago.

The crowd responded with chants of "We won't recognize Israel" to a fiery speech by Hamas' prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, who said the movement scored a "divine victory" against the Jewish state and will not lay down its arms.

Despite the defiant words, Hamas has sharply curtailed rocket fire on Israeli border towns since last winter's Israeli offensive, which inflicted heavy losses on the militants.

Don't you love the spin? So nice of hamas to cut down on rocket use- we should give them a state!

299 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:46:40am

re: #294 Thanos

and from most insurance plans, most plans now have higher premiums for smokers to cover the higher costs.

And if someone can't afford it, they should spend less money on cigarettes, because i'm sooo uninterested in pitching in...

300 jayzee  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:46:47am

Looks like for '10 the dems raised $1,307,396 from insurance while the repubs got $1,123,003. Pretty even. Lawyers on the other hand gave the dems $9,387,280 while the repubs got $1,567,700. Maybe that's why there is no tort reform in any of the house's bills?

301 freetoken  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:47:30am

News from Copenhagen: Looks like the US canceled its press conference, which was supposed to be the last one of the day. The G77+China presser, which just finished, had them essentially complaining that a subset (about 40 or so) of the nations present are doing some back room dealing and wheeling, apparently on a "political" agreement.

What this (probably) means (to US politics): President Obama has escaped Bill Clinton's fate (of having to sign a treaty only to have it denied by the Senate.) There will probably be a treaty in the future to replace the Kyoto Protocol, but it won't happen this week.

302 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:48:00am

re: #298 Sharmuta

Hamas mobilizes mass rally in show of strength


Don't you love the spin? So nice of hamas to cut down on rocket use- we should give them a state!


That vintage LGF quip will never get old!

303 What, me worry?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:49:13am

re: #291 Alouette

These guys really have the holiday spirit:

UK Jews Light World's First Whisky Menorah (filled with 65 litres of Tullibardine single malt)

Woot LOL

304 Jaerik  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:49:23am

re: #111 acwgusa

The evolution of my thoughts on the matter are complex and tend to get me caused a traitor by other small-government types, but here goes:

The strength of private competition comes from competition and the ability of consumers to take their business elsewhere.

Much of that argument fails with health care insurance: competent speculation isn't possible because by the time you need care, you have by nature lost your ability to take your business elsewhere. The order of informed choice is reversed.

Also unlike most private sector areas, the demand pyramid is reversed. In something like cars, the quality and luxury of your car is proportional to the amount you can pay, and there are cheaper alternatives for those that can't afford it. Supply and demand are balanced. But that isn't the case with health care. Paradoxically, the "lesser" product can be more expensive -- not less. The type of car one needs (sometimes on threat of death) is often orthogonal to one's means, and additionally clouded by the difficulty in anticipating both the need and quality of the product at an arbitrary point in the future.

Worse, the natural end result of a 100% unregulated private system would be a gravitation towards only providing services to the most profitable customers -- the rich and the healthy. It wouldn't be "evil," it would be just business, and it would be justified. You have an obligation to your stockholders, after all.

There's no societal drawback to people not being able to afford a Lexus. I couldn't care less. But it does indirectly hurt me if someone doesn't get health care because they're not profitable -- it hurts our productivity as a nation and makes it harder to do business here. It indirectly transfers capital from my business to the insurance companies.

I'm a fairly heartless bastard when it comes to most entitlement programs. I hate Social Security. I think if you don't plan for your own retirement you deserve to be poor. But that's because the societal detriment feels more insulated, to me. The natural tendency towards exclusion in private health care, by comparison, effects everyone and often has very little to do with one's own industriousness or sense of responsibility.

I've done a lot of thinking on the subject over many years, but this is one where I've found myself breaking with my usual small-government ideology. Your mileage may, of course, vary.

(And apologies for length of the post. tl;dr is completely understandable.)

305 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:50:13am

re: #287 Thanos

People with cancer, people with AIDs, people with lupus, people who have had transplants, people who have cystic fibrosis, and any number of other gorups of the chronically ill.

But as you said, there's a profit breakpoint; so for those of low enough income, it can be something as little as being a smoker that prices a health insurance scheme out of their reach.

306 Feline Emperor of the Conservative Tears  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:51:41am

re: #184 Obdicut

Since Earthquake Zone =~ California; I've already been told by a few politicians that no real Americans currently live there currently anyways...

/*6.02x10^23{Avogadro's sarc}

307 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:56:32am

re: #306 oaktree

Except Bakersfield. That's very real.

308 robdouth  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:59:03am

re: #138 Charles

Given there are how many pages 1000+ at least, but I don't know the exact count anymore, is it possible he opposes much more than just what he helped put in the bill? Is it possible he's privy to what the end goal is with the legislation and that maybe it's not a great idea? When did the vast majority of people here start acting like this is reasonable legislation. Since I work for a hospital (in the finance department), I don't have to worry about my own healthcare, but I'm scared of what will happen to reimbursement, and I'm afraid we may get bought out by a For Profit if our income statement gets worse, and we're in a good location with a higher percentage of well-insured and self-pays then your average hospital.

309 Jaerik  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 12:07:20pm

re: #308 robdouth

Given there are how many pages 1000+ at least...

Actually, the page number is disingenous. It was trumped up by the opposition by using 2" margins, triple spacing, and giant font.

When the bill is written using standard Congressional formatting for final bills, it's actually slightly smaller than your average bill. Some have jokingly pointed out that it's shorter than Sarah Palin's book. Not sure if that's true, but PolitiFact did destroy the claim the popular claim that it was longer than War and Peace.

Of course, if you're against the reform to begin with, even one page is too much. Which is where the debate really should be. But opposing it based on page count is one of the more empty talking points.

310 RogueOne  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 12:09:17pm

re: #305 Obdicut

People with cancer, people with AIDs, people with lupus, people who have had transplants, people who have cystic fibrosis, and any number of other gorups of the chronically ill.

It's NEVER lupus!//
[Link: www.itsnotlup.us...]

311 Jaerik  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 12:10:23pm

re: #309 Jaerik

...but PolitiFact did destroy the claim the popular claim...

Jesus, I need to proofread my bloviating more carefully.

I blame lupus.

312 robdouth  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 12:16:18pm

re: #309 Jaerik

Sorry about the page count thing. It was a popular meme for awhile so it just popped into my head, but even with it being slightly smaller or whatever, almost all bills are ridiculously long and they have a fair amount of provisions. Even if it's not 1000+ and is instead ONLY 500+, that's a lot of stuff, so I'm saying he may disagree with some of the other parts, which have changed since he jumped on. Also the whole in the pocket of insurance companies seems extremely disingenuous.

The reason stating the dollar amounts he's received from insurance can be taken as a smear is because of what someone else mentioned but was completely ignored. Stats matter only when compared to something. The absolute value means little unless you know that the 2.5 M or 1M in respective areas is more/less than the average. Given the comparison to Harry Reid's donations, it looks like he's no more beholden to them then some of the other guys.

Also if you believe a certain way, are you really beholden to a certain group if you take money, or are you getting their money for reelection because you agree with that group. Would you say someone who takes money from the largest green technologies group is beholden to environmental causes, or is the money the effect from the cause of believing in green technologies and being environmentally conscious.

Don't know the answer, but it seems logically a lot of you guys could be putting the cart before the horse. Obviously you may be right, but I'm all about giving a guy the benefit of the doubt especially when he has a better record then many of voting for what's right over what's popular.

313 robdouth  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 12:17:22pm

re: #310 RogueOne

It never is Lupus in House, but they always have to rule it out.

314 jim_beam  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 12:22:20pm

LOL ya Lieberman is soooo in the pocket of big Pharma. Probably in the pocket of big oil too. how scary!!!

Get a grip charles, Lieberman is a principled man. End of story.

315 Jaerik  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 12:25:23pm

re: #312 robdouth

Don't know the answer, but it seems logically a lot of you guys could be putting the cart before the horse.

Good points, and fair 'nuff. Even without the insurance industry donations as the implied motive however, you have to admit he's still a bit of a weasel for how he's gone about the whole thing.

316 webevintage  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 12:31:39pm

re: #271 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Rita's dead? Shit.

Good.
I have never liked Rita (in the books or on the show) and the actress is soooo much better as evil then nice.
This is a spoiler I'm looking forward too when we get the DVDs.

317 jim_beam  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 12:32:18pm

re: #312 robdouth

PS you are 100% right

318 jim_beam  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 12:35:41pm

re: #315 Jaerik

Good points, and fair 'nuff. Even without the insurance industry donations as the implied motive however, you have to admit he's still a bit of a weasel for how he's gone about the whole thing.

Lieberman has consistently said that he will not accept a deal that increases spending. You have to be pretty loony to actually believe that this bill will cut healthcare costs. Lieberman clearly and consistently stated his position, tried to get a compromise, and failed to remove government insurance from the equation. He did exactly what he said he would do. Remind me how that makes him a weasel?

319 webevintage  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 12:37:19pm

re: #292 Aceofwhat?

Huh? Call me an ass if my stance on abortion differs from yours...but is someone an ass for not wanting to pay for another's abortion?

Seems like a stretch.

Maybe Nelson is an ass, maybe not (though he is affiliated with The Faily..I think), but why is abortion the time when we go out of our way to allow taxpayers to choose how their money will be spent?
I'm sure there are a few things the Gov't spends my money that I would rather them not.

320 jim_beam  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 12:38:58pm

re: #319 webevintage


I'm sure there are a few things the Gov't spends my money that I would rather them not.

I bet that includes security spending...

321 Jaerik  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 12:41:15pm

re: #318 jim_beam

Remind me how that makes him a weasel?

Because the CBO has scored the bills as reducing government costs to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. And the Republican plan was scored as significantly more expensive.

I know it seems counter-intuitive when you're a small-government type (I am too), but this is one of the cases where the current plan actually costs less than keeping what we have now.

The CBO is non-partisan and frequently hailed by Republicans when it confirms their points. You can't just reject their scoring outright because it doesn't sound right to you this time.

Lieberman knows that the current negotiated bill with the Medicare buy-in will also come back as saving money versus what we have now. So he's not even waiting for the score to oppose it.

He's also the one who originally floated the idea of a Medicare buy-in during his past election campaigns. He was invited to both negotiation meetings in the Senate over the bill, and was a no-show to both of him. He's not taking a "principled stand" here, he's being a disingenuous weasel, even if he happens to be helping your cause.

322 Aceofwhat?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 12:49:46pm

re: #319 webevintage

Maybe Nelson is an ass, maybe not (though he is affiliated with The Faily..I think), but why is abortion the time when we go out of our way to allow taxpayers to choose how their money will be spent?
I'm sure there are a few things the Gov't spends my money that I would rather them not.

Valid question.

Pork = money spent that i would rather not
Abortion = money spent on an act that about half the nation considers immoral in most circumstances

does that make sense?

323 _RememberTonyC  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 12:53:18pm

Joe Lieberman has more balls than any other senator if you want my opinion. Furthermore, he represents a state (Connecticut) that is home to many insurance companies, particularly in the city of Hartford and its surrounding suburbs. My wife works for one of those companies. His main issue is the so called "public option," which has to potential to devastate the insurance industry that so many of Lieberman's constituents work for.

If Lieberman didn't oppose the public option (and by extension, the bill), he'd be representing people other than his constituents. Good for him for doing this. Health care reform without tort reform is a bad idea. When President Obama fixes his gaze on the trial lawyers in the same way he had fixed it on insurance companies, then we can talk. And let it be noted that the trial lawyers lobby was a MAJOR contributor to President Obama's campaign.

324 jim_beam  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 12:55:33pm

re: #321 Jaerik

Ok great.

The CBO estimates that the bill will reduce the deficit by about $100 billion. Clearly they are increasing spending and increasing revenue by a larger amount. over ten years, added revenue of 781 billion and new spending of 672 billion. giving them a profit of 16.2% on investment.

I am from Canada, and just want to wish you good luck. There is no way that this thing saves healthcare costs. They will blow that 16% so fast

325 lawhawk  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 12:55:46pm

re: #321 Jaerik

Actually, the CBO had found that the health care plans as blowing the deficit and increasing the debt.

Meanwhile, the CBO has come out scoring tort reform as producing more savings than their earlier look.

CBO had previously estimated that enacting a common package of tort reform proposals would reduce federal deficits by $4 billion from 2010 to 2019, but CBO now estimates that those proposals would reduce federal deficits by about $54 billion during that period.

Change the assumptions, and you change the results.

326 lawhawk  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 12:57:51pm

re: #324 jim_beam

I've previously pointed out that the Democrat health care plans phase in the health care insurance changes, but change the revenue enhancers immediately (aka taxes). They collect 10 years of taxes for seven years of health care expenditures. Once they blow through the three year reserve, you'll be running deficits as far as the eye can see unless you continue raising taxes and/or cut services.

And none of this addresses the fact that there aren't tens of thousands of new doctors to provide the primary care that will be demanded under the proposals.

327 Jaerik  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 1:01:19pm

re: #325 lawhawk

Your first link is to the CBO scoring of the Republican proposal. It's John Boehner's amendment, not the Democratic one. CBO link to the current Democratic proposals save more. Paradoxically, this is an issue where the Republican proposal was more expensive than the Democratic one.

And I'm all for tort reform. You can be for both -- they aren't mutually exclusive things unless you're a partisan shill. I wonder if it would be possible for the Dems to pass anything with tort reform though, given how beholden they are to that particular lobby.

re: #324 jim_beam

Fair enough. But I try not to follow pre-construed narratives by other side when coming to a logical conclusion on these things. "They'll blow those savings so fast" does not counter the point that there are actual savings that Lieberman is opposing. Which means he's still a weasel.

328 Achilles Tang  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 1:06:28pm

re: #279 Nadnerb

No, I mean it needs to be stopped for the sake of our future. It is a gigantic entitlement program further expanding the government into your life and mine. If it's as well managed as Medicare, then we're in for a hell of a ride.

I was being cynical earlier. You don't believe in health care reform either it seems, since all you have to say is NO. Sounds familiar.

329 Nadnerb  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 1:21:44pm

re: #328 Naso Tang

I'm sorry I didn't get your sarcasm. I don't think there's anything at all wrong with saying NO to this as currently formulated. Reform is a good idea, especially if it helps people obtain quality, affordable care, without growing and expanding the federal government. I'm completely opposed to what's happening now, especially the speed at which this is occurring. I also don't know how this is suddenly the most important issue in domestic politics when most people are quite happy with the health care they receive.

If you like what's being proposed, what's the reason for your support?

330 Pacificlady  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 1:43:38pm

I am a nurse, and I have worked in Medicaid. I am also very familiar with Medicare, both on a professional basis and personal one. Can someone tell me where the government is going to find physicians. PAs, NPs, etc., to treat the 25, 35 or 45 million (you choose the number) people that will potentially covered if the health reform bill become law? Just asking.

331 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 1:52:02pm

re: #330 Pacificlady

Who's treating them now?

332 robdouth  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 1:54:13pm

re: #328 Naso Tang

I get sick of this party of no BS that everyone is peddling. Well, I should clarify, I'm sure there are big R's out there who are just all no all the time. But I feel it's a legit position to be against many of the incarnations of this bill as wasteful and not trusting that the Democrats in Congress will do this the right way to be ok with saying no to this bill.

I look at it the same as the AGW debate. If I come to the position that cap and trade is a bad idea in the current debated form, and that maybe there is nothing specifically we can do to address AGW other than exploring alternative energy (especially nuclear energy) for the time being, then I've reached a conclusion about what action to take that may be similar to a denier, yet I am not a denier. Would I be on the same moral level as the denier? Would it be assumed that I was because of the position I have taken? I guess it's doing the right thing for the right reason vs. doing the right thing for the wrong reason. Since we can't know and can only speculate why he's doing something, can't we only judge the outcome and go based on whether we agree or disagree with the final outcome regardless of the reasoning used to get there?

333 badger1  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 2:14:26pm

re: #332 robdouth

That seems reasonable to me.

334 Pacificlady  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 2:21:14pm

RE: 331 Obdicut

From my experience with Oregon Medicaid, people who do not have insurance coverage show up at the ED and are treated by emergency department physicians or don't get treatment. Fortunately, a lot of medical conditions will resolve without treatment. What we saw in Oregon when we expanded Medicaid coverage was a large pent-up demand for health care, the family practice doctors and internists were overwhelmed by the demand resulting in long waits etc. On the national level, we have a lot of doctors who say (they might be lying) that they would rather retire than participate under the new health reform program. We will need thousands (I'm guessing here) of new family practice doctors, internal medicine doctor, NPs, and PA to meet the need. I would like to see some expansion in existing medical schools or new schools to deal with the increase need.

335 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 2:27:36pm

re: #334 Pacificlady

I agree with your last line, though I prefer a big expansion of nurse practitioners and physicians assistants.

I'm just pointing out that "who's going to care for them?" is as valid a question now, as it would be in the context of the bill.

336 Pacificlady  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 2:35:28pm

re: 335 Obdicut

I agree. We need expansions of existing NP and PA programs (and new ones) if the health reform bill passes.

337 garhighway  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 2:36:57pm

re: #329 Nadnerb

Quote: "I'm completely opposed to what's happening now, especially the speed at which this is occurring."

Three thoughts:

First, if something doesn't get passed in this go-round then nothing happens for another 7 or 8 years. That is the lesson of Hillary-care. The whole " this bill could be better, so vote "no"" narrative is underwritten by the health insurers, who just want this to go away.

Second, I have difficulty trying to conceptualize a time scale on which this is going "too fast". People have been talking about and try to legislate about this for 20 years. This carousel turns very slowly. If we miss it now, we don't get to hop on again for quite a while.

Third, we can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Some reform, however imperfect, is better than nothing. Progress matters. Momentum matters. Either the present situation (no coverage if you have a pre-existing condition, people with pre-existing conditions locked into their current jobs because they can't get new coverage if they move, millions with no access to health care, middle class families being bankrupted by disease) is OK with you or it isn't. I say it isn't, and I say SOME reform now, however flawed, is better than 8 more years of this. And those are the real choices. "Perfect" reform is not on the menu, even if we could all agree on what that even means.

338 Blueheron  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 2:48:21pm

re: #262 Aceofwhat?

Eh, that's ok. In NE Florida, there are a couple of really expensive homes on the beach and then most of the rest of the proletariat live 10-30 min away. But i can certainly say that there isn't anything here in real danger that any of you should have to subsidize via Federal insurance.

Remember the hurricane that was supposed to hit Venice so people started running North? It hit Punta Gorda instead trapping people on the interstate?

339 Lidane  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 3:12:58pm

re: #6 Conservative Moonbat

At this point I think Joe's main goal is to piss off liberals in retaliation for the Ned Lamont thing. He doesn't give a shit about the legislation, just pissing off liberals.

Pretty much. It's not about principle for Joe. It's just about pissing people off, which is how it's going to be until he's either voted out of office for good or he retires.

Personally, I can't stand the man and have felt that way since Gore chose him as his VP. There's a reason that Joe was the "Loserman" in the "Sore Loserman" GOP meme in 2000, and this is a perfect example of why. He's just a petty, vindictive little man who puts his personal grievances ahead of anything else.

340 soxfan4life  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 3:19:06pm

re: #339 Lidane

Pretty much. It's not about principle for Joe. It's just about pissing people off, which is how it's going to be until he's either voted out of office for good or he retires.

Personally, I can't stand the man and have felt that way since Gore chose him as his VP. There's a reason that Joe was the "Loserman" in the "Sore Loserman" GOP meme in 2000, and this is a perfect example of why. He's just a petty, vindictive little man who puts his personal grievances ahead of anything else.

So he should take one for the team, which turned their back on him in 2006. He has said from the get go he would vote no to any bill with a public option and is sticking to his guns, unlike the prostitute from LA Mary Landreau. Seems like Olympia Snowe feels the same way, felt she was duped voting the bill out of committee.

341 tradewind  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 3:31:37pm

Lieberman just announced that he is ' likely ' to support the bill now that the public option and medicare buy-in have been deleted from Reid's bill.
Don't be surprised if they both somehow find their way back in when it gets to committee.

342 Wozza Matter?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 3:34:37pm

re: #3 Sharmuta

The Senator for Aetna wins again.

343 Wozza Matter?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 3:36:28pm

re: #339 Lidane

he grovelled to the Democrats get his committee chairmanship back - and won't vote to close debate on a keystone of the Democratic Presidents agenda.

He should not have got his chairmanship back. Full stop.

344 Jaerik  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 3:58:26pm

re: #340 soxfan4life

...unlike the prostitute from LA Mary Landreau.

You're seriously gunna get behind the "prostitute" line? Really?

345 Sharmuta  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 3:59:10pm

Lieberman- the McCain of the right.

I love the progressives ripping on this man. To me, you look like wingnuts ripping McCain. Srsly.

346 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 4:02:26pm

re: #345 Sharmuta

Lieberman- the McCain of the right.

Lieberman showed up at the 2008 RNC-- to endorse McCain.

347 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 4:03:51pm

re: #339 Lidane

Pretty much. It's not about principle for Joe. It's just about pissing people off, which is how it's going to be until he's either voted out of office for good or he retires.

Personally, I can't stand the man and have felt that way since Gore chose him as his VP. There's a reason that Joe was the "Loserman" in the "Sore Loserman" GOP meme in 2000, and this is a perfect example of why. He's just a petty, vindictive little man who puts his personal grievances ahead of anything else.

Completely agree.

348 Ayeless in Ghazi  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 4:05:03pm

Lieberman is a disgusting, depraved piece of shit :

[Link: www.huffingtonpost.com...]

Shame on those who insist on praising him just because he fulfills one or two wingnut fantasies*(*see 2.0 for more details on those):

[Link: www.huffingtonpost.com...]

349 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 4:08:02pm

re: #348 Jimmah

Lieberman is a disgusting, depraved piece of shit :

Jimmah and I are just back from the pub, BTW, so expect even more outrageously outrageously wingnut-busting behaviour from us than usual.

/Not saying, just saying.

350 Lidane  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 4:14:45pm

re: #340 soxfan4life

So he should take one for the team, which turned their back on him in 2006.

Whatever Lieberman will do is up to him. I don't expect principled actions from him, so this move doesn't surprise me in the least.

For that matter, the Democrats can do whatever they like with regard to Lieberman. It's no skin off my back. However, I reserve the right to hold the man in contempt for his generally smug, condescending manner. He has always annoyed me and rubbed me the wrong way, and his actions here don't do anything to change that.

351 mujr  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 4:17:49pm

Lieberman is like a little turd that won't flush down the toilet, just keeps going round and round

352 Wozza Matter?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 4:27:28pm

re: #345 Sharmuta

McCain did not leave his own party to run as an independent when he was defeated in a democratic Primary.

I don't know the worst thats been said about Lieberman by the netroots - but i turned against Lieberman when he split.

Lieberman has not been accused of being a manchurian candidate brainwashed by the communists............ as far as i'm aware. I'm going to go on a limb and say that the freeper treatment of Mccain was worse than the stuff Lieberman has had hurled at him.

What came McCains way from the wingnuts was not deserved. Lieberman ran against his own party, begged for forgiveness, obtained forgiveness and is going on to stand against the Presidents agenda - he's getting hell for it, and i don't blame people feeling betrayed by him.

353 Jaerik  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 4:54:14pm

Interesting and pretty valid article by Slate on the disingenuous going on with the Senate debate:

[Link: www.slate.com...]

354 Mark Pennington  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 4:57:01pm

Thanks a lot, Senator Aetna!

355 Wozza Matter?  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 4:57:50pm

Lieberman was for a Medicare extenstion 3 months ago - but not now seemingly.

Thats a principled politician standing on principle people.

[Link: crooksandliars.com...]

356 blueraven  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 5:01:21pm

It is very hard to defend Lieberman when he endorsed a Medicare buy in for 50 and over in 2000, and just three months ago, defended that idea as a better alternative to the public option. What has changed in 3 months?

357 metrolibertarian  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 5:13:01pm

re: #356 blueraven

It is very hard to defend Lieberman when he endorsed a Medicare buy in for 50 and over in 2000, and just three months ago, defended that idea as a better alternative to the public option. What has changed in 3 months?

The healthcare bill doesn't come with an apology for whatever nonsensical and most likely imaginary slight Lieberman feels the national Democratic Party inflicted upon him. He was hoping that would be included in this negotiated healthcare reform bill that included ideas he supports.

358 Achilles Tang  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 5:26:57pm

re: #329 Nadnerb

I'm sorry I didn't get your sarcasm. I don't think there's anything at all wrong with saying NO to this as currently formulated. Reform is a good idea, especially if it helps people obtain quality, affordable care, without growing and expanding the federal government. I'm completely opposed to what's happening now, especially the speed at which this is occurring. I also don't know how this is suddenly the most important issue in domestic politics when most people are quite happy with the health care they receive.

If you like what's being proposed, what's the reason for your support?

You say as this is currently formulated, and that may be right, I am honestly not sure; but what I am sure of is that Republican didn't do anything about it when the could have and now are just saying NO. I am simply tired of it.

As to most people being happy with health care they receive, I'm not sure if you phrased that poorly or mean what you say. Most people are probably happy with the care, it's the availability and affordability that is a problem to most who are neither very wealthy nor working for a large corporation, or the government. My, luckily, limited experience so far is that the system makes every effort to rip off the customers, and gets away with it most of the time.

As to my support at present, I'm a cynic except to the extent that I'm an optimist regarding almost any effort too change this stranglehold that for profit corporations have over health care.

359 NogenDavid  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 5:27:01pm

The United States is taking on deficits and a growing debt that threaten to drastically curtail the standard of living of the next generation and eliminate its ability to act as a great power. And indebted up to the hilt, how could it possibly handle the next unforeseen crisis? A major terrorist attack, contagious disease outbreak, a crisis in another country calling for a major military intervention to protect vital US interests. And the most important feature is not the debt chart, or Liberman’s stated reason, but the fact that he got campaign contributions from the health care sector? As though the proponents of Democratic bill have not? Couldn’t it be, given Lieberman’s history, that he is acting on principle? Shouldn’t his stated grounds be acknowledged and explored?

360 Achilles Tang  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 5:32:26pm

re: #359 NogenDavid

The United States is taking on deficits and a growing debt that threaten to drastically curtail the standard of living of the next generation and eliminate its ability to act as a great power.

And this is a reason to not reform health care? The truth is that nobody dies in the USA for lack of health care (no anecdotal exceptions please). We have a public option now, in several forms, and we have the expense. The only real difference between what we have and any new system is that the new system, any one, has got to have more controls and honest accounting than the present one which is all smoke and mirrors and kidding ourselves.

361 jayzee  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 6:05:12pm

re: #348 Jimmah

Lieberman is a disgusting, depraved piece of shit :

[Link: www.huffingtonpost.com...]

Shame on those who insist on praising him just because he fulfills one or two wingnut fantasies*(*see 2.0 for more details on those):

[Link: www.huffingtonpost.com...]

I don't understand why she referred to kaparos in her article though. That was a little offensive.

362 NogenDavid  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 6:17:00pm

359: I agree the US system has lots of problems, but the notion that a massive and complex new law whose terms are constantly in flux has “got to be” better than the status quo is faith based reasoning. Kind of like voting for “change”. Experience teaches that it is easy to take a bad situation and make it worse. I think Liberman is right that incremental change is a better approach.

363 Mark Pennington  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 6:35:56pm

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds...

364 Ayeless in Ghazi  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 7:08:57pm

re: #361 jayzee

I don't understand why she referred to kaparos in her article though. That was a little offensive.

I think she was just saying "what the fuck is religion doing being involved in this shit in the first place?" For some reason, people often fail to recognise the incongruity where christian belief is concerned, and would affect shock were they were to observe it's exclusion while nonchalantly accepting the absence of specifically Jewish interference.

365 BARACK THE VOTE  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 7:24:23pm

re: #364 Jimmah

I think she was just saying "what the fuck is religion doing being involved in this shit in the first place?" For some reason, people often fail to recognise the incongruity where christian belief is concerned, and would affect shock were they were to observe it's exclusion while nonchalantly accepting the absence of specifically Jewish interference.

This is basically nonsense but I have the benefit of knowing what you intended to say, and of knowing how much we drank.

Upding, dammit!

Love always, iceweasel

366 Ayeless in Ghazi  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 7:27:34pm

re: #365 iceweasel

This is basically nonsense but I have the benefit of knowing what you intended to say, and of knowing how much we drank.

Upding, dammit!

Love always, iceweasel

You may have a point there ice-ski :) Hic!I think know I'm in love!

367 Nadnerb  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 7:37:09pm

re: #358 Naso Tang

Like you, I am a cynic and I can understand how the party of "no" bothers you. I think that much of the opposition to it is because of the gigantic growth of government and intrusion into the lives of ordinary people. There are already so many entitlements that have become institutions that to change them is nearly impossible. Healthcare for all will become an even larger one. We need to help out the most needy in this country, whether it is obtaining food, housing or healthcare, but there must be a point at which people have to fend for themselves. The government should not provide healthcare for everyone, and that is the eventual goal and outcome of this current program.

The increase in spending is what kills it for me, to be honest. Think of what the hundreds of billions (certainly more) of dollars could do if put toward education or infrastructure. You could probably build a complete subway/light rail system in every big city, or build new roads and bridges. That is something tangible. Or, education. Wouldn't it be nice if new schools could be built instead of using trailers as additions?

The costs put forth in the current plan simply cannot be believed by any rational person. They will only grow over time. Governmental reach into our lives will grow as well. If Emerson (quoted above by beekiller) was asked about this I wonder what he'd say.

The government should set the stage (through reform) for affordable healthcare, but expanding coverage in the manner being debated now is terrifying.

368 wiffersnapper  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 7:40:37pm

Goe Joe!

369 NogenDavid  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:27:17pm

Perhaps you would explain why you downdinged my comment, 359, Charles? Do you disagree with my concern about the debt issue, or with my challenging the attribution of motives to Lieberman apart from the one's he has publicly espouse? Just curious.

370 NogenDavid  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 9:36:05pm

Compare and contrast your response to your apparently having no issue with several posters who provided such edifying comments as

"Lieberman is like a little turd that won't flush down the toilet, just keeps going round and round."

371 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 14, 2009 11:47:06pm

Update: as of this morning, it looks like Dems will drop their demand for lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 50. Lieberman wins.

The almost inevitable outcome, as I noted above somewhere. The Dems stood to lose their entire bill, while Lieberman, at the very worst, stood to lose his committee chairmanships prior to his retirement. Pretty unbalanced, and it's remarkable that Reid thought he could win by bullying in such a case.

372 Logician  Tue, Dec 15, 2009 3:05:53am

re: #45 Charles

Yep, the insurance industries are a huge constituent of Lieberman's. That's my point.

From the conjecture (which I do not share) that Lieberman may be voting in the interests of the insurance companies rather than his honest opinion on the merits of the proposed measure, it sould follow that Kos and other opponents (and supporters) of the free market are mistaken in their belief that those companies expect the bill to provide a net windfall for them.

373 S'latch  Tue, Dec 15, 2009 5:25:49am

I think Joe Lieberman is doing the right thing. The fact that he has taken donations from the health care industries and the insurance industry does not bother me. I actually trust the health care industries more that the Democrats on this issue, and I trust the insurance industry a little. I don't trust the government with a public option or an expansion of medicare. There is no emergency here.

374 _RememberTonyC  Tue, Dec 15, 2009 9:21:10am

re: #352 wozzablog

McCain did not leave his own party to run as an independent when he was defeated in a democratic Primary.

I don't know the worst thats been said about Lieberman by the netroots - but i turned against Lieberman when he split.

Lieberman has not been accused of being a manchurian candidate brainwashed by the communists... as far as i'm aware. I'm going to go on a limb and say that the freeper treatment of Mccain was worse than the stuff Lieberman has had hurled at him.

What came McCains way from the wingnuts was not deserved. Lieberman ran against his own party, begged for forgiveness, obtained forgiveness and is going on to stand against the Presidents agenda - he's getting hell for it, and i don't blame people feeling betrayed by him.

It's called democracy. The partisans on the left (such as yourself) didn't like Lieberman because of his support for the Iraq war. So the party loyalists (dedicated DEM voters) punished him. Sadly for you and those who follow your partisan philosophy, Lieberman did quite well in the general election, showing that he is a true bipartisan as evidenced by how well he did with Republican voters in CT. You might think that loyalty to the party is "number one," but Lieberman understands that loyalty to "all of the people" truly is.


This article has been archived.
Comments are closed.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
Freddie Washington 2010 KSBR Bash If you listen to music at all, then you've heard Freddie & probably liked it. He's played or toured with Herbie Hancock, Michael Jackson, Al Jarreau, Aaron Neville, Lionel Richie, Anita Baker, B.B. King, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Whitney ...
Thanos
6 hours, 52 minutes ago
Views: 81 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 4 •
Barry Gibb - Too Much Heaven (Visualizer) Ft. Alison Krauss ‘GREENFIELDS The Gibb Brothers Songbook, Vol. 1’ out now: barrygibb.lnk.to Listen to more Barry Gibb here: barrygibb.lnk.to... Socials -Facebook: facebook.com...Twitter: @GibbBarryInstagram: instagram.com... #barrygibb #greenfields Music video by Barry Gibb performing Too Much Heaven (Visualizer). A Capitol Records Release; © ...
Thanos
1 day, 3 hours ago
Views: 297 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 4 •
#Thegreatpoolpondconversion - 210110We received the second check valve and installed it.It works as it should.They should both ease up the startup workload on the small pumps.We can forget about this for a while or longer. We bought a bunch more plants. Some ...
Dangerman
2 days, 20 hours ago
Views: 397 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 7
Tweets: 0 •
No One’s Disciple — Theremin Trees A reflection on something of special importance at this time: the dangers of magical heroes, human and divine. You can support the channel at: patreon.com--0:00 the importance of individuality4:08 heroes, harmful and helpful6:29 religious disciples7:22 a little learning9:20 hero ...
Thanos
5 days, 6 hours ago
Views: 664 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 •
Alicia Keys - Wasted Energy (Audio) Ft. Diamond Platnumz, Kaash PaigeAlicia Keys - Wasted Energy (Audio) ft. Diamond Platnumz, Kaash Paige Alicia Keys - ALICIA: smarturl.it Follow Alicia Keys:Instagram: instagram.comFacebook: facebook.comTwitter: @aliciakeysWebsite: aliciakeys.com
Thanos
1 week ago
Views: 1,038 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 4 •
Trump Pledges an Orderly Transition of Power After Violent Insurrection Seth Meyers' monologue from Thursday, January 7. Late Night with Seth Meyers. Stream now on Peacock: bit.ly Subscribe to Late Night: bit.ly Watch Late Night with Seth Meyers Weeknights 12:35/11:35c on NBC. Get more Late Night with Seth Meyers: ...
Thanos
1 week ago
Views: 871 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 •
EELS - Where I’m Going (Audio Stream)"Where I'm Going" from THE CAUTIONARY TALES OF MARK OLIVER EVERETT, out April 22, 2014. Shipping now from eelstheband.com
Thanos
1 week ago
Views: 980 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 2 •
Amy Macdonald - Mr Rock & Roll (The Roost Acoustic Session) New year, (good!) old classic. Here's an acoustic version of Mr Rock & Roll, recorded last year in London. Happy new year everyone. ✨ The new album 'The Human Demands' is out now. Listen here: amymacdonald.lnk.to Subscribe to the ...
Thanos
1 week ago
Views: 879 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 4 •
#Thegreatpoolpondconversion - Index 2020 201227 - Bed Making 201220 - A Bunch of Steps Forward and a Few Back 201213 - This Week 201206 - Last Week 201129 - New Digs 201122 - Demoted and Remoted 201115 - Was a Sunny Day, Parts ...
Dangerman
1 week ago
Views: 946 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 •
#Thegreatpoolpondconversion - 210103We worked Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.We need a break from these holidays. Thursday and a bit of Friday (New Year's Eve day and New Years day);In the background you can see the remnants of a retractable awning.it was a cantilever ...
Dangerman
1 week ago
Views: 981 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 0 •