Joe Lieberman Nixes Medicare Buy-In Plan

Gives Reid new a new obstacle on path to passing health bill
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2009 7:23 AM CST
Updated Dec 14, 2009 7:43 AM CST
Joe Lieberman Nixes Medicare Buy-In Plan
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., arrives at the U.S. Capitol after walking from his home to the Senate in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009. Lieberman is Jewish and does not ride on the Sabbath.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

Joe Lieberman will stand in the way of the Senate health reform bill if it includes the Medicare buy-in provision for people over 55, he told Harry Reid yesterday. Lieberman delivered the bad news face-to-face after he and fellow centrist Ben Nelson went on Face the Nation to bash the buy-in, which Senate Democrats turned to as a compromise, after the same centrists said they'd stonewall a public option, Politico reports.

Reid needs the votes of all 58 Senate Dems, plus Lieberman and independent Bernie Sanders, to break a potential Republican filibuster. Killing both the public option and the Medicare buy-in would jeopardize the support of Sanders and liberal Dems, but keeping either of those plans would lose Lieberman—forcing Reid to woo at least one GOP defector, most likely Olympia Snowe.

(More Joe Lieberman stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.