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.

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