Will Joe Lieberman derail ObamaCare in the Senate?

In a short answer: Yes, if it contains a public option which he says is just dead wrong for America. Luckily Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi seem hell bent on including a public option (a.k.a government option) in any form of an ObamaCare bill so I guess that locks Lieberman in as being opposed to it.

Here’s video from Lieberman earlier today on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace stating that he will not allow a bill to come to the floor if it contains a public option:

Transcript of the exchange:

WALLACE: … will you support a Republican filibuster on final passage in the Senate?

LIEBERMAN: Well, there’s some good things in the House-passed plan. You know, I’m — I think we ought to do health care reform this year to deal with the two great problems that President Obama and others have talked about.

There are unsustainable continuing increases in the cost of health care. We’ve got to — we’ve got to stop that. And there are millions of Americans who don’t have health insurance.

But I’m afraid our colleagues in the House added a lot onto that that subtract from the genuine purposes of health care reform, and one was to create a public option plan.

The public option plan is unnecessary. It has been put forward, I’m convinced, by people who really want the government to take over all of health insurance. They’ve got a right to do that. I think that would be wrong.

But worse than that, we have a problem even greater than the health insurance problems, and that is a debt — $12 trillion today, projected to be $21 trillion in 10 years.

WALLACE: So at this point, I take it, you’re a “no” vote in the Senate.

LIEBERMAN: If the public option plan is in there, as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote, because I believe the debt can break America and send us into a recession that’s worse than the one we’re fighting our way out of today. I don’t want to do that to our — to our children and grandchildren.

That is at least the most honest talk I’ve heard from a politician in months.

The Wall-Street Journal chimed in on the Lieberman aspect as well:

In the Senate, Lieberman’s vote is critical because if he were to join Republicans to oppose health-care legislation, Democrats could fall short of the 60 votes needed to bring the bill to a vote on the Senate floor.

Lieberman said he was concerned about the new government spending that the health-care legislation would entail, saying government deficits have grown too large. “I don’t want to do that to our children and grandchildren,” he said.

Without 60 votes, the only option left is the “nuclear” reconciliation option for Reid if he so chooses. I can’t see that happening without some serious ramifications for 2010 and beyond, it would be political suicide to attempt. With the House passing the bill by a narrow 5 point margin, clearly even many Democrats know this is bad for the country.

Lieberman took a strong stand last week as well on Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer when he said that doing nothing is better than passing a public option:

With Lieberman’s help, the Republicans have a good shot at killing this government takeover over the health care industry and saving us all from higher taxes, stolen liberty and an increased government footprint into our lives. I pray that Lieberman will stand strong on this, no doubt Reid, Obama and Pelosi will be leaning on him to change his mind. Might be a good idea to call or email Lieberman’s office voicing your support for him as he’ll no doubt be getting a barrage from the left on this very issue.

  • Bill Hedges

    “By hook or by crook”, meaning “By whatever means necessary – be they fair or foul. ”


    Is the slogan for Saturday night vote in Congress. The deal was not reached Friday, so deal finished and voted on Saturday.

    I have no illusion that who pays for abortion was not true issue. No, not reason. Reason given was ‘cover’ come election time. Some way to justify the vote. Ability to be re-elected, maybe.

    What happened was payola. Clear and simple. Highest dollar paid at last minute. Only in Congress is insider trading legal. Oh if I was only allowed to cuss. Benedict Arnold would be so proud of these turn-coats.

    Now to this article.

    Nate wrote: Speaking of Lieberman “That is at least the most honest talk I’ve heard from a politician in months.”

    But didn’t obama say no health care for illegals and public money for abortion or he would veto ??? That’s honest talk ?? Right?

    If we play honest, this bill does give illegals insurance. No id required. SURELY our smart President knows this, so he will veto. SURELY he would not say he will make sure problem is address and sign ??? Would he ???

    Why am I so skeptical that Nancy will work abortion paid by plan into bill. I must be nuts !!! With abortion clinics helping get obama elected, that won’t affect obama, he said he would veto. Obama is man of his word ??? Transparency !!!

    Maybe my recent revelations, sees maneuvering room in Senate, Lieberman’s answer.

    I can see a compromise in his words “The public option plan is unnecessary. It has been put forward, I’m convinced, by people who really want the government to take over all of health insurance. They’ve got a right to do that. I think that would be wrong..” Some sort of change could occur as occurred Saturday night. With Senate, Lieberman becoming much richer. Scratching backs in the senate and wallets.

    I hope I am not turning into a total cynic. I want to find a honest man in Babylon. I hope he is Senate Lieberman.

  • Bill Hedges

    “Eh tu, Brute ???”

  • “Some sort of change could occur as occurred Saturday night. With Senate, Lieberman becoming much richer. Scratching backs in the senate and wallets.”

    You’re right, that is my fear. However, given the plethora of his statements staunchly opposing the government option, how can he look anyone in the eye now if he votes for it?

    I know.. I know, he’s a politician! Still, I’ll hold out hope.

  • Bill Hedges

    Today after you wrote your comment, rewards for votes are coming out. Not all for sure. One guy claimed I think it was $126 million for hospital in California to get his vote. Not counting any possible under the table cash hush fund.

    I fear not enough John Wayne and Ronald Reagans types are in Senate. Even young Jimmy Stewart goes to Washington, D.C.. I look forward to you saying “I told you so”.

  • Bill Hedges

    Sadly Anita Dunn no longer will be taking notes on lies spread by Fox Network. Of course controversy has NOTHING to do with her leaving. She will stay on as consultant through end of year. Of course I believe.

    Glen Beck never received a call from her pointing out lies and correcting Beck. Not even one. I so wanted to see her put him in his place. A missed opportunity I guess. Never fear eyes are watching Fox. Lots and lots. Lots and lot. Lots and lots.


  • Bill Hedges



    November 13, 2009

    “Harry Reid can pass a bill in the Senate that has no public option or an easy opt-out, shallow subsidies for the uninsured, a low total cost, weak penalties for not having insurance, no coverage for abortion and no general tax increase (except for the premium and medical device taxes).”

    “And Nancy Pelosi can pass a bill in the House (on final passage) that has a public option with no opt-out, steep subsidies for the uninsured, harsh penalties if they don’t buy insurance, a higher cost, full abortion coverage and a surcharge income-tax increase.”

    “The question is: Can either one’s bill pass the other’s chamber?”

    “Probably not.”

    “So here’s how all this is likely to unfold:”

    “Pelosi’s bill is dead on arrival in the Senate. Reid is going to have to give up his insistence on the public option and pass a bill in the Senate very much like the Baucus bill that came out of the Senate Finance Committee. After extensive negotiations with his liberal wing on the one side and the moderates in the Senate on the other (led by Joe Lieberman) he will eventually strike a deal. He’ll let the bill pass with no public option or with a generous opt-out provision. Meanwhile, he will placate his liberals by telling them that the final version that the Conference Committee will report back to the Senate will have a robust public option, not to worry. (Just as Pelosi told her liberals that the final bill would not ban payments for abortions, not to worry.)”

    “After weeks of negotiations, the Senate will probably pass its version of the bill as a Christmas present to America.”

    “But…in the course of all these negotiations, Obama and the Democrats are going to look worse and worse, more divided and less focused on the ultimate objective. Public antipathy to the bills will mount and the worst-case scenario of each possible variation in the legislation will spark its own storm of opposition. By the time the Senate acts, the feminists will be angry, the uninsured will be angry, the senior citizens will be angry and the fiscal conservatives will be angry.”

    “Support for the bill will drop week after week during November and December.”

    “By the time Congress reconvenes in January to wrestle with the two competing versions, support for the bill will have dwindled to a perilous point. This reduced level of support will just serve to make senators and congressmen more intransigent in the negotiations. Since the bill will need 60 votes in the Senate after the conference report, Lieberman, Maine’s Snowe and Collins and a handful of other moderates will each have a veto. And, collectively, the liberals in each chamber will have one as well.”

    “Weeks and months of wrangling will ensue. The result could be the defeat of the bill or its amendment in positive ways (for those opposed to it).”

    “Our task is to reduce public support for the bill by publicizing its provisions, notably:”

    1. “The $400 billion cut in Medicare”

    2. “The inevitable scarcity that will result from the addition of 35 million new patients with no new doctors or nurses”

    3. “The fine on the uninsured of 2.5 percent of their income if they don’t buy insurance”

    4. “The high cost of these mandatory insurance policies ($15,000 per family)”

    5. “The low level of subsidy available for the uninsured (only after they pay 8-12 percent of their incomes)”

    6. “The likelihood of a $1,700 increase in the average family’s premiums”

    7. “The possibility of up to five years in prison for failing to buy insurance or pay the fine”

    8. “The taxation of medical devices like pacemakers, wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, hearing aids, etc.”

    9. “The tax on sick people (increasing the threshold for deducting medical expenses from 7.5 percent to 10 percent of income”

    10. “The additional fiscal burden on the states of the increase in Medicaid eligibility”

    11. “The 40 percent tax on health insurance premiums that will affect households earning more than $75,000 by the fifth year of the plan.”


  • Bill Hedges

    Has someone been whispering in obama’s ear good economics ???

    I doubt it.Even he can read the writting on the wall. Don’t count on revenue from health bill taxes to pay money due…

    Feel the crunch ???

    “Obama eyes domestic spending freeze”

    By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer Andrew Taylor, Associated Press Writer – 36 mins ago

    WASHINGTON – “The Obama administration has alerted domestic agencies to plan for a freeze or even a 5 percent cut in their budgets, part of an election-year push to rein in record deficits that threaten the economy and Democrats’ political prospects next fall.”

    “China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasury securities, has expressed concern about the size of U.S. deficits. U.S. policymakers worry that alarm over deficits could push foreigners into cutting back on their purchases of Treasury debt. President Barack Obama will visit China as part of his current tour of Asia.”


    Away from his liberal friends, China will be laying down the law. Ingnoring human right violations in China is not enough for obama to cow down to China.

    Waiting for obama return from China with tail between his legs.