Lieberman would rather have ‘Nothing’ than healthcare reform with a public option

On Face the Nation this morning, Senator Joe Lieberman made it quite clear that he intended to vote down any Democratic legislation including a public option, even if it meant passing no healthcare legislation at all… See for yourself:

By way of background, here are a few little tidbits about Lieberman from MediaMatters.

In 2005, Lieberman’s Wife Worked For A Health Care Lobbying Firm Whose Clients Benefited From The Senator’s Legislation. Mrs. Lieberman Held Senior Position In Health Care Lobbying Firm. Salon reported that in March 2005, Hadassah Lieberman was hired by the lobbying firm Hill & Knowlton as a “‘senior counselor’ in the firm’s ‘health care and pharmaceuticals practice,'” and quit in early 2006 during Sen. Lieberman’s campaign for re-election.

Sen. Lieberman Has Accepted Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars From Individual Health Care Companies. According to, over the course of his career, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has accepted: $150,100 from Purdue Pharma, $112,618 from Aetna Inc, and $85,190 from Pfizer Inc.

2010: Sen. Lieberman Supported By Over $1 Million From The Health Care Sector. During the 2010 campaign cycle when his seat is not on the ballot, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has accepted, on behalf of his campaign committee and Leadership PAC, at least $1,144,604 from health care related industries: $469,644 from the Insurance Industry, $369,370 from Health Professionals, and $305,590 from Pharmaceuticals/Health Products.

On the other side of the equation, it’s worth noting that Lieberman was given very little in the way of financial contributions by his uninsured constituents… Draw your own conclusions.

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  1. dragon
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Nothing makes me feel more powerless to government than when complete douche bags like lieberman continue to serve in congress. Just the, in your face corrupt, there’s nothing you can do about it, try top me even if you you know howmuch I’m paid to stop progress, mealy mouthed, droopy dog spouting, whining as cry baby bullshit yammering fucking whore. God, I hate you Joe Lieberman, and I’d pay a thousand dollars to punch you in the face. Fuck You!

  2. Aaron
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I am convinced Al Gore would of won if not for this putts … I was so hoping he would go away when he lost the primary.

  3. elviscostello
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    What an asshat!

  4. Kim
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Why is he still Chair of the Homeland Security committee?

  5. Progress Report
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) unveiled the re-tooled Affordable Health Care for America Act (HR 3962). The $894 billion bill would extend coverage to 96 percent of Americans by 2019 and reduce the budget deficit by $104 billion over 10 years. “Leaders of all political parties, starting over a century ago with President Theodore Roosevelt, have called and fought for health-care reform and health-insurance reform,” Pelosi said. “Today we are about to deliver on the promise.” Democrats successfully lowered the price tag of the original House legislation from $1.04 trillion by expanding the Medicaid program to Americans with incomes 150 percent of the federal poverty line and removing the fix to physicians” Medicare reimbursements from the bill. (That measure will be introduced seperately.) The House bill will also “strip the health insurance industry of a long-standing exemption from antitrust laws covering market allocation, price fixing and bid rigging” and “give the Federal Trade Commission authority to look into the health insurance industry at its own initiative.” The bill allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services “to negotiate drug prices for Medicare” and “requires pharmaceutical companies to rebate the government for drug overcharges that arose after 2003 when low-income elderly people who got their drugs through Medicaid” were enrolled in Medicare Part D. Debate in the House is expected to begin this week, “and the Senate will soon take up its version.”

    A ROBUST HOUSE BILL: The House bill is “a better product than whatever’s likely to emerge from the well-intentioned efforts of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,” Slate’s Timothy Noah concludes. Indeed, the legislation includes a national public plan that independently negotiates reimbursement rates with provideres, a robust individual mandate, higher subsidies and cost sharing protections, and requires large firms to offer coverage. Eighty-six percent of firms (companies with payrolls of less than $500,000) are exempt from the requirement, but large employers would have to “pay 72.5 percent of the costs of benefits for employees who are single, and 65 percent for employees with families. It would exact penalties for non-compliance on a sliding scale depending on the size of a company’s payroll, going up to 8 percent for those with a payroll over $750,000.” Like the Senate measure, the House bill is financed through a series of improvements in the Medicare and Medicaid programs and taxes on the health industry. But while “the Senate is expected to propose a series of annual fees on the health-care industry and a 40 percent tax on high-cost insurance policies; the House would raise the bulk of its new revenue — $460 billion over the next decade — through a 5.4 percent surta x on the richest 0.3 percent of tax filers.”

    REID OPTS FOR PUBLIC PLAN: On Tuesday, Reid announced that the merged Senate legislation would establish “a national insurance plan with government seed money and be run by a private, not-for-profit board.” The plan would negotiate its own reimbursement rates with providers and allow state legislatures to opt out of the option by 2014 if they can provide comparable coverage in order to exit out of the federal plan.” States may also choose to establish a consumer-driven cooperative, although “states that opt out of the public plan could not offer co-ops.” Unlike the House legislation, the Senate bill will not require employers to provide coverage, but requires “companies with more than 50 employees that do not offer insurance to pay a fine for each of its workers who gets a government subsidy to buy health insurance.” The bill, in effect, “could encourage employers to hire people who already make enough to afford health insurance or to dump low-wage workers who would qualify for the subsidy,” the New York Times concludes. While details of the final legislation are still emerging, Senate aides are saying that Reid has increased the penalty for employers who fail to provide health insurance for their employees from $400 a person to more than $700, reduced a tax on medical-device makers to between $15 billion and $20 billion over a dec ade, and increased the threshold for high-cost insurance plans that would be subject to a 40 percent tax.

    CONSERVATIVE DEMOCRATS RESIST: The House bill is similar to its Senate counterpart, although a handful of key differences and opposition from conservative Democrats “could make for protracted negotiations this year.” Yesterday during an apperance on CBS’ Face the Nation, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) — who has previously threatened to filibuster any bill that included a national public option — said he would prefer nothing to health care reform with a public option. “Well, the truth is that nothing is better than that because I think we ought to follow, if I may, the doctor’s oath in Congress as we deal with health care reform, do no harm,” Lieberman said. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) is “not saying whether she’ll vote to allow the Senate to begin debating a health care bill,” and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) — who has gone back and forth on hints of support for the opt out provision — said on CNN, “I can’t decide about the procedural vote until I see the underlying bill.” Meanwhile, Senate Republicans plan to use targeted amendments to attack the legislation issue by issue, offering detailed GOP alternatives in a concerted bid to turn the public against the measure and to try to set the table for electoral gains in 2010. According to GOP sources, Senate Republicans also are ready to use parliamentary tools to slow down the floor debate to ensure it lasts at least four weeks. “We’re going to need a significant amount of time in order to evaluate it and offer amendments. So, I think this is going to go on for a while,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said. In the House, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and 40 pro-life Democrats are potentially “considering teaming up with Republicans to block House health reform legislation unless Democratic leaders allow a floor vote on an amendment that would add new restrictions on the use of federal funding for health plans that cover abortion with private dollars.”

  6. Meta
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Leiberman could get his way. It looks like the whole thing might get derailed over abortion.

    Here’s an excerpt from the Washington Post:

    While House leaders are moving toward a vote on health-care legislation by the end of the week, enough Democrats are threatening to oppose the measure over the issue of abortion to create a question about its passage.

    House leaders were still negotiating Monday with the bloc of Democrats concerned about abortion provisions in the legislation, saying that they could lead to public funding of the procedure. After an evening meeting of top House Democrats, Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Md.) said, “We are making progress,” but added that they had not reached an agreement.

    The rest of the article:

  7. MoveOn
    Posted November 5, 2009 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    After Tuesday’s election, you can bet pundits will be advising nervous Democrats to move to the right. But the biggest threat to Democrats would be failure to deliver real change—including health care reform that takes on the insurance companies.

    That’s why this week is hugely important. After months of build-up, the first huge health care vote is here. The House of Representatives is poised to vote on an important health care reform bill on Saturday.

    The vote is expected to be very close, so every member of Congress needs to hear how crucial it is to support this bill.

    Can you call and ask Rep. Dingell to vote FOR the health care bill?

    Representative John Dingell
    Phone: 202-225-4071

    The House health care bill would expand coverage to 96% of Americans, increase choice with a public health insurance option, end discrimination due to pre-existing conditions or gender, and help reduce the deficit.

    The bill is definitely a compromise. But thanks to House progressives, who fought hard to strengthen it, it’s much better than the latest version of the Senate bill and delivers some important victories:

    The House’s public option is national and available on day one. The Senate’s public option allows states to “opt-out”—leaving behind some of the folks who need it most. We need the public option in every state.

    The House bill makes coverage more affordable than the latest available version of the Senate bill does. A family earning $54,000 a year would pay almost $4,000 less for health insurance under the House version. We need more affordable coverage for middle-class families.

    The House bill covers 7 million more Americans than the latest Senate bill does. We need health care for everyone.

    In the end, the House and Senate bills will be merged into one bill by a conference committee. A resounding vote in the House will help the stronger provisions prevail in the final bill.

    Can you ask Rep. Dingell to vote FOR the health care bill?

    Representative John Dingell
    Phone: 202-225-4071

    Thanks for all you do.
    –Nita, Noah, Kat, Michael, and the rest of the team

    P.S. Can you also post on Rep. Dingell’s Facebook wall? If he has one, this will really get his attention. Click here to look for his Facebook page:

  8. Mitch
    Posted November 6, 2009 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    This is it — the House of Representatives will vote on health insurance reform tomorrow. All signs point to it being incredibly close, possibly even coming down to a single vote.

    With the clock ticking, insurance company lobbyists are going all out to stop reform. Please call Rep. John Dingell at 202-225-4071 now.

    Today, President Obama is visiting the House to call for reform, and I hope you’ll add your voice to his. If you haven’t called before, now is the time. And if you have recently called, thank you — now please ask friends, family members, and co-workers in your district to join you.

    Everything we’re fighting for comes down to moments like this — and every second counts.

  9. Left Cross
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Man I sure hope this entirely unimportant thing is decided wisely by a gaggle of NOT generally opaque and unaccountable sidekicks. And I sure hope the NON-thugs who run our economy of likewise unaccountability and opaqueness won’t try to obstruct our lives forever beyond the decision.

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