Joe Lieberman Kills Public Option and Medicare Buy-In

I saw on Special Report with Bret Baier this evening that Senator Harkin said that the public option and the Medicare buy-in are dead. I was glad to hear it. All I can say is thank goodness for Joe Lieberman. He stuck to his principles that he would not support a public option or a Medicare buy-in:

Lieberman opposes a proposal that would expand Medicare for people between the age of 55-64. Lieberman has also said he would oppose a government-run insurance option and on Sunday said that Senate leaders need to scale back the bill, removing both provisions from the final product, in order to get his vote.

Congressional staff familiar with negotiations said the White House is strongly urging Reid to work with Lieberman to eliminate the Medicare provision.

Sen Tom Harkin, D-IA, has conceded that the public option, once a top priority for him in healthcare reform, and Medicare buy-in are gone from Senate legislative efforts.

“It’s not fair but it’s reality,” Harkin said, of the move precipitated by an announcement by Lieberman, that he would oppose the healthcare bill if those two items remain in it.

This does not mean this bill isn’t still a monstrosity because it is and I hope the entire thing still dies a quick death. The last thing we need are unfunded mandates masquerading as health care reform. All they will do is increase the cost of health care instead of decrease it, which is what the Democrats said this entire process about. We all know that’s not true, though. this entire process is about one thing: giving President Obama and the Democrats a perceived win on health care, even if what they end up passing makes the system worse for all Americans.

We should be reforming the health care system in small steps. First we should be able to buy health insurance across state lines. Second, we need to implement real tort reform. These two alone would go a long way to restraining health care costs.

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