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Lieberman’s Opposition to Health Reform

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Lieberman’s Opposition to Health Reform"

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Unlike the case with some of his colleagues, you can’t chalk Senator Joe Lieberman’s apparent opposition to universal health care up to political cowardice. Connecticut is a solidly Democratic state at this point, and it’s pretty clear that the main political threat Lieberman faces is from his left. Nevertheless, he’s a man with the courage of his convictions and his convictions just don’t seem to be especially progressive:

LIEBERMAN: Morally, everyone of us would like to cover every American with health insurance but that’s where you spend most of the trillion dollars plus, or a little less that is estimated, the estimate said this health care plan will cost. And I’m afraid we’ve got to think about putting a lot of that off until the economy is out of recession. There’s no reason we have to do it all now.

Since Lieberman is a United States Senator with vast power over the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans it might have been nice for him to familiarize himself to some extent with the legislation he’s talking about. The bills I’ve seen all phase-in in the future precisely in order to meet the goals of deficit neutrality without involving a mid-recession tax increase. Meanwhile, it seems extremely likely that the economy has already returned to growth. But evidently Lieberman’s been too busy talking to TV bookers to learn about the pending legislation.

‹ Lyndon Johnson in New Orleans, October 1964

At Least One Cheer for Rational Expectations ›

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