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Ear to the Ground

Lieberman Wins: Senate Compromise to Kill Public Option

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Posted on Dec 8, 2009
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Flickr / laura padgett

Senate Democrats have worked out a tentative compromise that would nix the public option in favor of a national nonprofit plan and an expansion of Medicare. Sens. Russ Feingold and Bernie Sanders, strong public option supporters, could spoil the deal, but they’re likelier to support overall reform than their conservative colleagues. These include Joe Lieberman, who flatly refused to vote for any bill containing a public option.

It’s important to remember that the anemic version of the public option in the Senate bill was already weakened in an effort to appeal to moderate and conservative Democrats, too many of whose campaigns are coincidentally recipients of health industry largesse.

The government plan would cover less than 1.5 percent of the population, and states would be able to opt out of the program.  —PZS

Los Angeles Times:

Under the compromise developed by a group of conservative and liberal Democrats, the Senate legislation would no longer include a new government-run insurance program, or “public option,” for Americans who do not get coverage through their employers.

Instead, the government would essentially contract with a nonprofit insurer to provide a nationwide plan that would serve as the public option, according to officials briefed on the discussions. Combined with a vote earlier in the day that rejected efforts to tighten restrictions on public money for abortion, the compromise kept the Senate moving toward Reid’s goal of voting on the healthcare bill before Christmas.

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By ardee, December 10, 2009 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

Bud, December 10 at 6:37 pm

Errr Bud, Lieberman is not a Democrat.

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By Bud, December 10, 2009 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Attention ALL DEMOCRATS,the democratic party has just LOST seven votes in my family alone!No one in my family will vote for one more democrat in 2010,or 2012.You have let an old wrinkle neck asshole destroy the democratic party.That SOB is Joe Lieberman!!!ALL INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES IN THE ELECTIONS OF 2010,and 2012.RIP DEMOCRATIC ASSHOLES!!!

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By nubeewon, December 10, 2009 at 3:20 am Link to this comment

I’m a lifelong Democrat.  I was very supportive of Obama and hopeful that he really would change the mess the friggin Republicans got us into (one more time).

All I see now is a smooth talking jerk who is incapable of delivering on his campaign promises and a bunch of cowardly Democrat Congressmen who are as impotent and chicken shit now as they were when the Republicans were running the country into the ground (one more time).

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By Mack TN, December 9, 2009 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Capt Ron says: “Next, I want ethics back in government, or maybe in government for the first time. No campaign contribution coffers accepted for anyone. No outside contribution other than those donated to a fund distributed equally to all candidates based on year long donations only to this fund by us.”


CaptRon, I’m with you.  Until we get campaign finance reform, we will always lose. Elections don’t have to cost so much money. I’d be willing to give up more money if corporations were prevented from buying our elected officials. It’s conflict of interest.  This is the reform we should begin to press because we won’t get anything, we’ll continue to be ripped off and enslaved until we get corporations out of the picture.

Don’t vote for candidates who have been purchased by corporations. Use your power, claim our democracy!

I urge everyone to start writing letters to editors, op-eds, to elected officials insisting on campaign finance reform.

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no mans land's avatar

By no mans land, December 9, 2009 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment

Don’t know why everyone is turning against Lieberman. He’s the same opportunist he was in 2000 which says much more about the people who voted for him than his politician-ness. What never was cannot be betrayed, yet progs continue to vote for whomever the Dems parade in front of them. In fact, I’d bet that if Lieberman and Kucinich were the Democratic candidates tomorrow, most Dems would still end up voting Lieberman because they’re too damn chickenshit to prop up someone who actually stands for what they believe in. Even the teabagging birthers got organized and formed some semblence of an independence from the Repubs. What have progs done other than to spew their continued anger that they’ve been hoodwinked yet again?

Hey Charlie Brown! Come kick this football…

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By NYCartist, December 9, 2009 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

“could spoil the deal”?  I’m with Anarcissie on this one.  Rewrite, rewrite…see http://www.pnhp.org and the groups supporting HR676.  The “deal” and the bill is crap (to use the late “Grandpa” Al Lewis’ word).

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By CaptRon, December 9, 2009 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

OK, I now know reform as I want it will not be done through this congress. So, here is what I want. I want my family and all legalized Americans on the same policy as our congress, not one like it, the same one(and if you’re not legally American-get legalized as quick as you can). Simple. No such term as cannot, but should this seemingly be the case, then abolish the coverage for congress and rewrite to make us all the same. No such thing as no, just do it. Next, I want ethics back in government, or maybe in government for the first time. No campaign contribution coffers accepted for anyone. No outside contribution other than those donated to a fund distributed equally to all candidates based on year long donations only to this fund by us. No money, media time, can be gotten except from the equally distributed funding. The fund is set up like the presidential donation fund on tax forms, yet all money donations can be taken but must be distributed to all equally. Penalty for doing otherwise is loss of candidacy. Corporations and their lobbyists would not be able to manipulate by money power influence to a specific candidate or their family members. I want ethics to be a top priority and the quality for which a bill is passed rather than obtained benefits to the candidate or their family. This for starters, so stop the vote on health care reform and just put us on that policy they have. Rather simple really. Also, a C-span media outlet is only allowable media way of presenting your candidacy. The rest of interest can be piqued by internet blogging, but to see & hear the candidate you must go to the proper channel only. What do you think? Have you had enough yet?

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By mackTN, December 9, 2009 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have no faith in this reform. The corporations have already written their sales plans and health insurance companies are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of raises American workers should finally be getting that will all go to premium increases.  Good news, we’re told, employees will get a 15% pay increase. Bad news, we’re told, insurance premiums will be going up 20%.

What a con game.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, December 9, 2009 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

Time to walk, progs.

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By Amy, December 9, 2009 at 10:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Don’t tell the Republicans, but this compromise is more to my liking than any fake public option.

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By bogi666, December 9, 2009 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

g anderson, their is no health care industry in this country, just a health insurance industry with health care workers.

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By bogi666, December 9, 2009 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

The Lieb religiously votes for American aid to Israel which subsidizes SOCIALIZED MEDICINE FOR ALL ISRAELI’S INCLUDING CHOCOLATE LOTION MASSAGES,while denying American medical care, compliments of the American Taxpayers. I have to compliment the Israeli government for their ability and desire to put their citizens interest first. Americans are suckers and don’t even know it.

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Samson's avatar

By Samson, December 9, 2009 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

Gee, what a surprise.

I see the Democrats are still running their ‘blame someone else’ propaganda line by trying to pin the blame on Lieberman.

The Democrats hold the majority in both houses, and also the Presidency.  Please spare us your fake blame pointing towards the awful Lieberman.  This is the Democrats disaster from start to finish. 

Look at the votes when they pass these bills, and see lots of Democrats voting YEA.  Look at the signature on this bill when it goes into law, and read the name “Barrack Obama”.

Then look at the millions that the big health corporations have poured into the Democratic Party.  By then, you’ll know who’s really responsible for this disaster of a bill.

Remember that when the lying Democrats ask for your vote in 2010 and 2012.

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, December 9, 2009 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

Then they might as well just kill the whole deal. Without a public option American’s will remain the victims of health care corporate America.

Instead how about a subsidy on Airline Tickets for those that want to go to India, China and Mexico for health care. It would be cheaper.

Betrayl doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Just as Detroit destroyed itself by buying off congress to prevent regulation and compettion, the so called health care industry will destroy itself without reform. Eventually their lies and manipulations and payoffs of congress will destroy it just like, what happened to the Auto industry.

We will end up having to own the health care corporations just like we now own GM.

The political process no longer works in this country it is a complete and total failure.

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By dihey, December 9, 2009 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

Earlier this year when the debates on Health Insurance/Care (HIC)  began I averred that the construct of a new Federal program, in this case “Public Option”, was an act of supreme idiocy when there was already a working Federal program, namely Medicare, available.

It absolutely beats me why so-called “progressives” and “liberals” have been so wildly enthusiastic for and now bemoan the demise of this monstrosity called “Public Option” which would have resulted in the rise of a huge, new and utterly useless bureaucracy. Its demise has opened by a tiny crack the door to “Medicare for All”.

Still, there appears to be another needless and idiotic expansion of a Federal bureaucracy in the cards, namely the one that is to supervise the so-called “Health Insurance Market”.

There is some good regulation of the Insurance industry in these bills but they could have been passed months ago as separate bills.

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By Baronscarpia, December 9, 2009 at 5:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The spineless Democratic leadership will probably allow Lieberman to hold his committee chair and continue to caucus with them.

2010 is going to be a very painful lesson for them, and should be. 

Unfortunately the electorate don’t deserve to suffer the consequences along with them.  This is not what we asked for in 2008.

Also, if it isn’t painfully obvious by now, Obama is a coward and he’s also a liar.

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By deeceevoice, December 9, 2009 at 3:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Democratic party,

It’s time to cut Lieberman off at the knees—something you should’ve done when the despicable, little Elmer Fudd clone/rat-bastard supported McCain over Obama.

Yank his Homeland Security Committee chairmanship out from under his Quizzling, opportunistic, self-promoting, sleazoid azz.

DO IT NOW.

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By ardee, December 9, 2009 at 3:29 am Link to this comment

Didnt we already know this was going to happen? This bill, whatever its eventual form, will not resolve our health care crisis only be another in along list of financial windfalls to an industry that needs no such thing.

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By Commune115, December 9, 2009 at 3:27 am Link to this comment

Is anyone really surprised? This is probably what they had planned all along.

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