Lieberman: Liberal Enthusiasm Convinced Me To Oppose Medicare Buy-In
In an interview with the New York Times, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) revealed Tuesday that he decided to oppose a Medicare buy-in in part because liberals like Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) liked it too much.
[I]n the interview, Mr. Lieberman said that he grew apprehensive when a formal proposal began to take shape. [...]Lieberman's comments go a long way toward validating the prevalent theory in progressive blogger circles -- that he, as the Washington Post's Ezra Klein put it, "seems primarily motivated by torturing liberals."
"Congressman Weiner made a comment that Medicare-buy in is better than a public option, it's the beginning of a road to single-payer," Mr. Lieberman said. "Jacob Hacker, who's a Yale professor who is actually the man who created the public option, said, 'This is a dream. This is better than a public option. This is a giant step.'"
And he said he was particularly troubled by the overly enthusiastic reaction to the proposal by some liberals, including Representative Anthony Weiner, Democrat of New York, who champions a fully government-run health care system.
Washington Monthly blogger Steve Benen speculated just on Monday about what would have happened if liberals had expressed disappointment with the Medicare buy-in, rather than enthusiasm. "Would Lieberman -- who not only ran on a Medicare buy-in platform in 2000, but also signaled some preliminary support for the idea last week -- be willing to kill reform over the idea now?"
Lieberman had supported a Medicare buy-in as recently as three months ago.
Meanwhile, the fickle senator said he's closer to supporting reform, but still not there yet.