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.