Friday, December 4, 2009
Senator Joe Lieberman (I- Connecticut) has dismissed reports that he has reached a secret agreement with medical insurance interests to oppose healthcare reform - one that promises Lieberman a very lucrative post-Senate career. "By the time my post-Senate-career begins, this current healthcare debate will be long over. No-one is going to care, frankly, about trying to connect the dots when they aren't there," said Lieberman at a press conference yesterday.
However, when pressed on the matter of whether he was opposing the so-called "public-option" favored by most Democrats for financial reasons, and in particular because he had been offered a multi-million dollar private-sector job in return, Lieberman remained coy: "Like I said, no-one will care by then what I do and frankly that is my own business. I don't rule out anything. Right now I am a Senator."
Lieberman, a former Democrat and vice-presidential candidate (on the Gore-Lieberman ticket in 2000) maintains a position in the Senate Democratic Caucus despite having left the party and endorsed Republican John McCain in the last presidential election. President Obama is believed to have personally lobbied to stop Democrats from stripping Lieberman of his current chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in light of the above.
The Senator has steadfastly opposed the inclusion of a public-option in the current Senate healthcare reform bill - critics have accused Lieberman of settling scores with Democrats after he lost a Democratic primary in 2006 to Democrat Ned Lamont. This led to Lieberman running as an independent - he won the election, although several opinion polls now put his re-election chances in 2012 at below 50%; other polls suggest a strong majority of Connecticut's voters support a public-option. Some have speculated that the Republican Party has privately promised not to field a viable candidate in Connecticut in the 2012 race in return for Lieberman's opposition to health-care reform. Yet, the Senator's latest comments appear to suggest different motivations may be at play.
Posted by Footstep at 11:54 PM