-With the Senate's virtual abandonment of any "public option," even one of the most anemic sort, and its deep-sixing of the plan to allow people 55 to 64 to buy into Medicare if no private plans are available, healthcare reform has turned into a hoax disguised as fiasco with Joseph Lieberman, the putative independent from Connecticut presiding and gobbling up all the attention he can get for being the paid lackey of the insurance industry. He's ego tripping; he should be ejected from the Democratic caucus and ignored. But the sad truth is that the Democrats, for the past 60 years a party of political cowardice, has now become a party of political cowards, although just what they fear, short of exposure of their own perfidy is hard to imagine. Note that I have called them "political" cowards, not personal cowards, since I'm sure many of them are quite brave physically. But here they are preparing to pass a healthcare reform bill that no one in the public, except a few experts, perhaps, understands or supports because it does not include the one item a majority has consistently endorsed--some kind of "robust" public option or the option to buy early into Medicare.
To pander to and please Lieberman is to pass a bill only insurance companies and their paid representatives can love, but that exactly where these bills taking us. The Democrats are so eager to claim a victory that they will pass a bill that will make things far worse for patients and institutions that serve the poor.
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