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Lieberman Lies About the Public Option

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Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Cigna) announced today he would filibuster the health care bill because it contains a public option compromise.

Why does he want to do this? I don't know (*cough* -- Aetna -- *cough* *cough*) exactly. But we do know his stated reasons are lies.

Politico reports:

"We're trying to do too much at once," Lieberman said. "To put this government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for the national debt. I don't think we need it now."

Lieberman added that he'd vote against a public option plan "even with an opt-out because it still creates a whole new government entitlement program for which taxpayers will be on the line."

Lie #1: "trouble ... for the national debt." The public option has been deemed a cost-saver by the Congressional Budget Office, $110B for the strongest proposed plan, $25B for the weaker plan (that is in the Senate bill).

Lie #2: "it still creates a whole new government entitlement program". An entitlement program is a government program that people of a certain criteria have a legally enforceable right to get benefits from, meaning the government has to find the funds one way or another. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are entitlement programs.

The public option simply is not an entitlement program. It would be a choice alongside private plans in a health insurance "exchange" or marketplace. And it would be "self-sustaining," funded primarily by the premiums of its customers, just like with private insurance.

Government subsidies would help those who couldn't affordable the premiums. But that is true with any of the plans in the health insurance exchange, public or private.

If Lieberman really wants the bill to cost even less money, he would crusade against the amount of subsidies proposed.

Sure, he would look even more heartless and cruel, but at least he wouldn't be a liar.

Originally posted at OurFuture.org