Folks were talking about Joe in Monday’s Open Thread. So let’s talk more about Joe, shall we, since he seems to need so much attention. Why is Joe Lieberman playing games with our health care? And why are Senate Democrats caving to him? I say strip him of his committee chairs and kick him to the curb. I mean, what’s the point of having him caucus with the Dems and enjoy the perks of majority party power when he double-crosses us every single time it really matters?

Let him go be all “independent” and whatnot with the Republicans if that’s what he really wants. Lieberman is now saying that he doesn’t want the Medicare buy-in option for those 55-64, which is already a major compromise away from the public option. So he won’t be the 60th vote. Yet just 3 months ago, he was all for it.

From The Plum Line:

In the vid, Lieberman appeared to go further than the current Senate deal, which would expand Medicare to those aged 55-64, saying he supported the idea of expanding it to people aged 50 and over. Lieberman referenced his proposal along these lines during the 2006 campaign, and added:

“My proposals were to basically expand the existing successful public health insurance programs Medicare and Medicaid…

“When it came to Medicare I was very focused on a group — post 50, maybe more like post 55. People who have retired early, or unfortunately have been laid off early, who lose their health insurance and they’re too young to qualify for Medicare.

“What I was proposing was that they have an option to buy into Medicare early and again on the premise that that would be less expensive than the enormous cost. If you’re 55 or 60 and you’re without health insurance and you go in to try to buy it, because you’re older … you’re rated as a risk so you pay a lot of money.”

I’m with PCCC

“Any Democratic senators — including Joe Lieberman — who support a Republican attempt to block a vote on health care reform should be stripped of their leadership titles. Americans deserve a clean up-or-down vote on health care reform that includes a public option.”

People want healthcare reform. Americans Need Healthcare Reform NOW — the situation is especially dire right now given that so many people are out of work.

PCCC actually did a poll of Democrats & Independents — the people who put Barack Obama and a lot of Democratic Senators into office:

  • Democratic voters think Senate Democrats should take away Lieberman’s chairmanship by 81% to 10%. Independents also support it by 13 points.
  • Democratic voters want Senate Democrats to use “reconciliation” by 73% to 13%. This requires just 51 votes to pass reform instead of 60, bypassing Lieberman.
  • Voters favor Howard Dean’s “We Can Do Both” proposal (a public option PLUS a Medicare buy-in for ages 55-64) by 57% to 32%. Among Independents, it’s 56% to 28% (2 to 1).
  • 84% of Democratic voters want progressive primary challengers to congressional Democrats who oppose a public option.

I signed a petition asking Democratic leaders to strip Lieberman of his leadership titles if he votes the wrong way on healthcare reform. Over 145,000 other people have signed the petition already. Will you sign too? CT voters want the public option at a 3-1 ration. If you live in CT, please call Joe Lieberman’s office and let him know that the people of Connecticut need healthcare reform not 10 years from now. Right now. Here’s his DC number: (202) 224-4041 and his CT number: (860) 549-8463. You can also email the sucka direct.

Personally, healthcare reform is too important. We’re so close now and we might not get another real chance for change for another 10-20 years. I say, if we can’t go for 60 votes, maybe we should go for a simple 51 vote majority. Sen. Reid — I know it’s hard when caving to Lieberman is so familiar. But now’s the time to be tough. Don’t back down and don’t let us down. You can do this. We can do this.

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