Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Signs Of Life

For all the angst and heartbreak this whole crazy episode of "health care reform" has brought us all, there were a few times I actually felt something akin to hope. I know, that's crazy talk. Progressives have been on the losing end on each and every issue. Still, there have been moments when just how high the deck was stacked against real reform was pointed out by unlikely sources. This morning contained one of those moments. In an editorial entitled "The Million Dollar Man", the NY Times clearly and decisively ripped Joseph I. Lieberman (I-CT) a new one for his crass and contemptuous behavior.

...way back in September, the senator was publicly championing a Medicare buy-in.

In an interview with The Connecticut Post, he said he had been refining his views on health care for many years and was “very focused on a group post-50, or maybe more like post-55” whose members should be able to buy Medicare if they lacked insurance.

This week, when there actually seemed to be a compromise on health care that did not focus on Mr. Lieberman, he announced that he would block the package if the Democrats included a terrible idea — allowing people between 55 and 65 to buy Medicare.

He presented this as a principled effort to keep down federal debt, but when a Times reporter asked about his 180-degree turn, he said he had forgotten taking his earlier position until the Democratic leadership reminded him about it over the weekend.

Mr. Lieberman has taken more than $1 million from the industry over his Senate career. In his 2006 re-election campaign, he ranked second in the Senate in contributions from the industry. He doesn’t seem to have forgotten that.

There's nothing ambiguous or nuanced about that assessment, and it is right on the money (to coin a phrase). While a huge segment of the Congress is now and has been for decades on the payroll of the insurance industry, something which a lot of us on the left have been pointing out for almost that long, few (if any) in the traditional media have found that particularly newsworthy. This time, however, Sen. Lieberman (who caucuses with the Democrats but has suggested he might run for re-election as a Republican) overplayed his hand, at least as far as the Times is concerned.

It's about time somebody noticed.

Now the question becomes, "And just what is anybody going to do about it?"

On that I am not so optimistic, but the signs of life shown by the editorial board of one of the nation's most influential newspapers is, at the very least, encouraging.

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Anonymous xan said...

Huzzah to you for pointing this out.

(that's about as much creative writing as I can muster at 9 am, but you deserve at least that much for blogging at 3 in the morning. :) )

7:29 AM  
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