Lieberman: Liberal Enthusiasm Convinced Me To Oppose Medicare Buy-In

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. [...]

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.

"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.'"

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."

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?"

Meanwhile, the fickle senator said he's closer to supporting reform, but still not there yet.

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