Feb. 12, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Lieberman Should Get Credit for Role Passing Health Bill

They include Sens. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Mary Landrieu (La.). Evan Bayh (Ind.), Nelson and Jim Webb (Va.). Some others, too, may have sighed in relief when the deed was done.

This was attested to by moderate Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who said “in a curious way, [Lieberman’s move] may make it more possible to get something done. … He wasn’t the only one with these concerns. It’s very clear — he vocalized concerns many were having.”

In fact, 10 Democratic Senators wrote a letter to Reid opposing the Medicare buy-in, including liberals Russ Feingold (Wis.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Al Franken (Minn.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.).

Both the public option and the Medicare buy-in were devices invented by liberals to kill off the private health insurance industry in America and create a Canadian-style single-payer health care system.

It’s sometimes called “Medicare for all,” and liberals defend it in spite of the fact that the Medicare system is going broke and, if all hospitals and doctors were paid Medicare reimbursement rates, many hospitals would go broke and many doctors would quit practicing.

Last week, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean declared that if he were a Senator, he’d vote against the Reid bill because it “expands private insurers’ monopoly over health care” and therefore “is not real health reform.”

The bill, without a public option, also has been branded “a wet sloppy kiss to the insurance industry.”

Tell that to the insurance lobby, America’s Health Insurance Plans, which has been objecting vociferously that the Senate bill — and the House version, more so — will result in higher premiums for everyone who buys insurance.

AHIP also has been e-mailing polls showing that the bill is unpopular with American voters. That’s not the behavior of someone getting a “wet, sloppy kiss.”

Americans would be far better off if the Senate had adopted legislation proposed by Sens. Wyden and Bob Bennett (R-Utah) requiring all Americans to have insurance and giving them a tax credit to buy it in the private market.

Regulated private competition would lower costs, as has been proved by the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.

Theoretically, a House-Senate conference committee could produce a final bill that’s better than what either chamber has passed. But that’s highly unlikely.

Liberals dominate in the House and if they had their way, the bill would head America toward Canada.

So, the final bill has to be modeled on the Senate bill because, if it’s not, Lieberman will stand against it. He’s doing his old party a big favor.

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