Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lost a vote that he had counted on; Senator Joe Lieberman(I-Ct) will block the vote on the Senate Finance Committee health care bill. Lieberman will opposed the bill because the government health care bill with an option for state to not join the program.
“We’re trying to do too much at once,” Lieberman said. “To put this government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for the national debt. I don’t think we need it now.”
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was questioned about Sen. Lieberman decision to opposed the bill. “I haven’t seen the report from Sen. Lieberman or why he’s saying what he’s saying. I think Democrats and Republicans alike will be held accountable by their constituents who want to see health care reform enacted this year.”
Lieberman is against government health care reform including the option of opt-out due to its cost.
“Even with an opt-out because it still creates a whole new government entitlement program for which taxpayers will be on the line,” Lieberman said.
Lieberman says that he will vote the bill out of committee to go the Senate Floor but he will vote against the bill when the full senate meets later this year.
“I’ve told Sen. Reid that if the bill stays as it is now I will vote against cloture,” he said.
“I can’t see a way in which I could vote for cloture on any bill that contained a creation of a government-operated-run insurance company,” Lieberman added. “It’s just asking for trouble – in the end, the taxpayers are going to pay and probably all people who have health insurance are going to see their premiums go up because there’s going to be cost shifting as there has been for Medicare and Medicaid.
Senator Reid reaction was subdued
“I don’t have anyone that I have worked harder with, have more respect for in the Senate than Joe Lieberman,” he said Tuesday afternoon. “ As you know, he’s my friend. There are a lot of senators, Democrat and Republicans, who don’t like part of what’s in this bill that we sent over to CBO. We’re going to see what the final product is. We’re not there yet. Sen. Lieberman will let us get on [to begin debating] the bill, and he’ll be involved in the amendment process.
Without Lieberman the Senate is short of the 60 votes to block a filibusterer.