Et Tu, Joe?

Image and video hosting by TinyPicThere are few things that piss me off more than a wishy-washy man. So it makes perfect sense that I’m growing more and more tired of Senator Joe Lieberman, the “Independent” of Connecticut who is holding health care reform hostage. Now I’d understand if he had always been against the provisions that he’s currently opposing in the bill; at least then I could respect him for having a strong viewpoint and sticking with it. But from where I’m sitting, he’s more indecisive than the dude I dated my last year of undergrad, and that, dear readers, is hard to do.
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Last night, we learned that yet another major point of the Senate version of the bill is under serious fire. This particular provision was offered up as a compromise for the possible slaying of the public option. (Boooooo.) In it, people would be allowed to pay to enroll in Medicare at age 55, rather than waiting until they hit the current enrollment threshold of 65. Why did the Dems think this strategy would work? Because the so-called Medicare Buy-in plan was championed by Lieberman back in 2000, when he was running to be Al Gore’s VP, again when he was being challenged for his seat in 2006, and then again just this past September.

And just last Thursday he said he would possibly vote for the bill, pending a positive report from the Congressional Budget Office. But then, just in time for the Sunday political show circuit, he changed his mind: He is now promising to not only vote against any bill that includes the buy-in, but to filibuster said bill in an attempt to prevent anyone else from voting for it. (In an ironic twist, back when he was a Democrat, Liberman co-sponsored a bill that would curb use of the filibuster back in 1994.) Enough kowtowing to this little man already!

I certainly don’t think the Medicare Buy-in is a fair trade for the public option. But I know that whatever we get at this point will be a greatly compromised version of the bill the liberal among us have been fighting for all year, and I hate to see yet another provision die under the feet of Big Insurance and it’s well-paid cronies in Washington. And that pisses me off, too. Back in August, I wrote an open letter to the president asking him to refuse to sign any bill that didn’t include the public option. Ahh, the naïveté of high expectations and freshly reapplied battle paint. In a perfect world, I still feel that way. In this world, the one where more than 45 million people are uninsured, I feel…compromised. Is it wrong that I now just want us to get something signed (something that does not penalize women for getting abortions) so we can live to play another day? At this point, I will take getting 30 million of those people insured; I’ve been where they are. It sucks. But then why do I feel so sad…?

Is flip-flopping Joe rubbing you the wrong way? Not a fan of the Medicare Buy-in? Feeling defeated over this issue? Tell me how you feel!

—Kenrya

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