Since without a public option or a Medicare expansion the Senate healtcare bill would essentially consist of a requirement that everyone in America buy health insurance (at God knows what price, given the bill’s sweeping mandatory-coverage requirements), the Democrats’ ultra-left base has been screaming for Senate liberals to kill the bill and start over with something more “progressive” to ram down Americans’ throats:
Here’s Howard Dean (as reported on the Plum Line):
“This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate. Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill.”
The New York Times reports that Sen. Roland Burris, President Obama’s replacement as Illinois senator, seems prepared to do exactly what Dean advocates:
…“My colleagues may have forged a compromise bill that can achieve the 60 votes that will be needed for it to pass. But until this bill addresses cost, competition and accountability in a meaningful way, it will not win mine.”
Finally, this poll at the Huffington Post reported that 52 percent of progressives want to see the Senate bill dead.
Other progressives are trying to get Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s wife, Hadassah, pushed out of her position as a spokesman for the breast-cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure, in order to punish her husband for refusing to back Medicare expansion and thus get it removed from the bill. The PoliticalTicker reports:
The move to pressure the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation came the same day Lieberman’s husband angered Democrats by announcing that he would not support an expansion of Medicare to cover individuals under the age of 55. Organizers did not point to that decision, instead citing Hadassah Lieberman’s own ties to the health care industry.
Lieberman has worked as a consultant for companies including Pfizer and ALCO.
“We are asking Ellen DeGeneres, Christie Brinkley and other high-profile celebrities who are associated with Komen to demand that no more money raised for cancer treatment be given to Hadassah Lieberman or any other ex-Pharma/Insurance strategists,” said Jane Hamsher, founder of the Firedoglake blog.
Fortunately, the Komen foundation is classier than Hamsher. A spokesman issued this statement.
Hadassah Lieberman is an important and valued Global Ambassador for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. As a Global Ambassador, Ms. Lieberman is focused on helping us reach out and educate women outside our borders about breast cancer, sharing our knowledge and experience in a culturally sensitive way that is making a real impact on the lives of women across the globe. We have every intention of continuing our relationship with Ms. Lieberman in our mutual pursuit of a world without breast cancer.
It’s not surprising that the progressives are furious. The ultimate goal of the public option (or a Medicare expansion, its softer version) is to erode the private-insurance system–and the role of private individuals and entities–in delivering and paying for healthcare, to the point that the federal government will be in complete control of all things medical. Progressives want a single-payer system–or at least the high road to a single-payer system–and they want it now. It’s no wonder that they’re beside themselves that, thanks to Joe Lieberman, the federal power-grabbing coup that seemed so enticingly close all summer and fall seems to be slipping away from them.
Finder’s Fees: Drudge