Joe Lieberman has drawn a line in the sand – get rid of the Medicare “buy-in” and dump the government insurance plan (public option by another name) or he will vote against the whole shebang.
In a surprise setback for Democratic leaders, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, said on Sunday that he would vote against the health care legislation in its current form.
The bill’s supporters had said earlier that they thought they had secured Mr. Lieberman’s agreement to go along with a compromise they worked out to overcome an impasse within the party.
But on Sunday, Mr. Lieberman told the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, to scrap the idea of expanding Medicare and to abandon the idea of a new government insurance plan, known as a public option.
On a separate issue, Mr. Reid tried over the weekend to concoct a compromise on abortion that would induce Senator Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, to vote for the bill. Mr. Nelson opposes abortion. Any provision that satisfies him risks alienating supporters of abortion rights.
In interviews on the CBS News program “Face the Nation,” Mr. Lieberman and Mr. Nelson said the bill did not have the 60 votes it would need to get through the Senate.
Senate Democratic leaders, including Mr. Reid and Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, said they had been mindful of Mr. Lieberman’s concerns in the last 10 days, so they were surprised when he assailed major provisions of the bill on television Sunday. He reiterated his objections in a private meeting with Mr. Reid.
Oh to have been a fly on the wall when Lieberman dropped that bomb.
A good opportunity to use Barry’s favorite word (besides “I”) to document his unprecedented, abysmal approval ratings.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 23% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-two percent (42%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -19.
Today is the second straight day that Obama’s Approval Index rating has fallen to a new low. Prior to the past two days, the Approval Index had never fallen below -15 during Obama’s time in office (see trends).
It’s not just Republicans and Independents who aren’t feeling the hope and change. Democrats are pulling back:
The 23% who Strongly Approve matches the lowest level of enthusiasm yet recorded. Just 41% of Democrats Strongly Approve while 69% of Republicans Strongly Disapprove. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 21% Strongly Approve and 49% Strongly Disapprove.
More proof that massive government spending and expansion is not what Americans want:
Among those who consider fiscal policy issues the most important, just 1% Strongly Approve and 81% Strongly Disapprove.
And last, but not least:
The President’s Approval Index rating is -2 among voters under 30 and -29 among senior citizens. From an income perspective, the President’s ratings are weakest among those who earn $40,000 to $100,000 annually.
That would be the middle class, Barry.