After he announced his willingness to filibuster health care reform that includes a public option, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) defended his position by arguing that if the public option paid lower reimbursement rates than private insurers, medical providers would shift costs to Americans with private coverage. He also called the proposed plan “a new entitlement program.” As ThinkProgress and others have pointed out, Lieberman either doesn’t understand the details of the public option proposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) or he is misrepresenting them. But in a conference call with Connecticut reporters yesterday, Lieberman claimed that it is the more than 60 percent of state residents that back a government-run insurance option that are confused:
What about the more than 60 percent of state residents that back a government-run insurance option, according to a Quinnipiac University poll last month?
Some of those respondents are confused about what such a plan entails, Lieberman said. And he added, “you can’t make a decision like this based on polling,” he said. Ultimately, he he said he has to do “what I think is right and hope in the end the people of Connecticut will respect me for that.”
Describing how his openness to derailing reform affected his role in the health care debate, Lieberman told the reporters, “I feel relevant.”