Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Tuesday that he’d back a GOP filibuster of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s health care reform bill.
Lieberman, who caucuses with Democrats and is positioning himself as a fiscal hawk on the issue, said he opposes any health care bill that includes a government-run insurance program — even if it includes a provision allowing states to opt out of the program, as Reid’s has said the Senate bill will.
"We're trying to do too much at once," Lieberman said. “To put this government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for the national debt. I don’t think we need it now."
Lieberman added that he’d vote against a public option plan “even with an opt-out because it still creates a whole new government entitlement program for which taxpayers will be on the line."
His comments confirmed that Reid is short of the 60 votes needed to advance the bill out of the Senate, even after Reid included the opt-out provision. Several other moderate Democrats expressed skepticism at the proposal as well, but most of the wavering Democratic senators did not go as far as Lieberman Tuesday, saying they were waiting to see the details.
The Democrats had been courting Maine Republican Olympia Snowe to vote with the Democrats for a false sense of bi-partisanship and to be a "shield" for the Blue Dogs in their more conservative districts from being labeled a liberal, if they voted for the bill.
Now, they still seem to be having trouble even getting some of their own people to stand behind Reid's bill with the public option. Senator Mary Landrieu had some harsh words to say about the public option, as well::
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) echoed Republican criticisms of a public option today, suggesting it would bankrupt the country.
Describing the public option as a government-run, taxpayer subsidized, national insurance plan, Landrieu said it would likely replicate the problems faced by Medicare and Medicaid.
Why don't we fix the two public options we have now instead of creating a third one, she told NPR's Tell Me More.
Ouch! She hit it on the right on the head here. We already have a program much like the public option plan presented in the bills, and they are going bankrupt. We wouldn't hire the failed CEO of Lehman to run a multi-million business. Why would we get our government with an equally bad track record to run insurance for millions of Americans?
Reid, of course, jumped the gun the other day, when he all but declared "Mission Accomplished!" on the public option battle. Today, we see that is far from reality. We have not heard the last of this, yet.
There have been some polls that say that the majority of Americans like the idea of the public option, but Landrieu blasts the pollsters on how they got those results:
Asked about polls showing public support for a government plan, Landrieu said the questions should be phrased differently.
I think if you asked, do you want a public option but it would force the government to go bankrupt, people would say no, she said.
Again, right on the money. The various pollsters, especially from left-leaning organizations like Kos, intentionally ask the questions in a way to where they are more likely to get a more liberal result.
As the Democrats realize that the public doesn't like their plan overall, the more the Democrats will have to distance themselves from the public option, if they want to be re-elected.
All this does not bode well for the survival of the Reid's bill and the public option.