Monday, December 14, 2009

Joe Lieberman, Angel of Death? We Report You Decide

Frequent reader(s) of this blog know the slow drip of days soon becomes a flood and Oh! Fragile Youth swept away from us, becoming the flotsam of time...erm...we mean know we haven't written much about the current health care debate.

That's because we can't quite see what all the fuss is about. Forty six million people have no health coverage. Over 8 million of those are children. And when you factor in the number of under insured folks, well, it's a problem, but this is a democracy and one of the things we do is help those among us who are most vulnerable. You know, right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness and all that.

Profit margins? Not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution we can find.

Anyway, so we figured, once Congress had actually noticed that there was a problem--which we think was shortly after the election of a president who could explain it to then in one syllable words--they'd get right on it. Want to save some money and cover all the people? OK Single Payer.

Oh. Republicans.

OK, let's compromise. A public option would go a long way to helping people avoid dying unnecessarily and would save money as well.

Oh. Republicans. Well, some republicans.

But, thinks us, aren't there more democrats than republicans after the last election? And if we remember right, the party that gets more votes gets to pass the law. So what's the hangup?

Oh. Joe Lieberman.

Senate Democrats who thought they had found a workable compromise on health care reform learned otherwise from independent Joe Lieberman over the weekend. "It's true senator Lieberman told senator Reid he would vote for the health care bill last weekend," said an aide to the senator, "But since senator Reid hadn't said 'Simon says vote for the bill,' Mr. Lieberman didn't feel he was obligated to support a bill he had supported a couple of month ago."

The Connecticut senator, whose vote is critical to the bill's prospects, threatened to join Republicans in opposing health care legislation if it permits uninsured individuals as young to 55 to purchase Medicare coverage. "Nobody supported me when I turned 55," Lieberman told reporters. "Well, I really didn't need it because I was covered under the government health plan. But hey, is it my fault Congress voted itself the primo benes? Now you people want in on that? Who am I? Santa Claus or something?"

Lieberman said of the Medicare proposal, "Though I don't know exactly what's in it, from what I hear, I certainly would have a hard time voting for it because it has some of the same infirmities that the public option did.

Darn straight senator. We're sure that's why the people of Connecticut elected you, to vote against desperately needed legislation based on hearsay.

"It will add taxpayer costs. It will add to the deficit. It's unnecessary," Lieberman said. "We're busy fighting a war here. Two wars. This country doesn't have time to worry about sick people." Let's run up a huge deficit doing something positive like killing bin Laden, not subsidizing some kid in Pittsburgh's inhaler. Priorities people."

Democrats are have some political leverage, however. Lieberman lost the Democratic nomination for re-election the last time he ran, in 2006, then won a new term as an independent because the people of Connecticut had been drinking heavily. Recently, however, they woke up, looked over to the other side of the bed and were all like Whoa!.

Democratic Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Ben Nelson of Nebraska also expressed concern about the legislation. "I'm concerned that it's the forerunner of single-payer," Nelson said. "If we give too many people insurance that actually, you know, insures them, what are the insurance companies going to do for profit centers?"

"My point exactly," Lieberman said. "After all, what good is health insurance if everybody can get it?"


Anonymous said...

When I have gone to my own state capital which shall remain nameless, I have been horrified to walk in on ill informed frat party like atmosphere. Lots of schmoozing, joke telling and incredible ignorance overshadowed only by their extreme masochistic religious fanaticism.

Joe Leiberman doesn't surprised me. He only disgusts me.

Hearsay indeed. Wish I could say I never saw that happen like a million times over on completely unrelated issues involving completely different public servants.

If wishes were fishes...

scripto said...

Why wasn't the debate framed as "Medicare for All" from the beginning? That is simple enough and would have garnered enough public support to pass. Everyone knows what Medicare is, knows someone on Medicare and it is popular. We Democrats never seem to waste an opportunity to waste an opportunity.