Lieberman: I Continue To Oppose Any Kind Of Trigger

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In a statement to reporters this morning, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) reiterated his longstanding position on the public option: Namely that he opposes any form of it, including if it’s attached to a trigger mechanism.

“My opposition to a government-run insurance option, including any option with a trigger, has been clear for months and remains my position today,” Lieberman says.

That’s crucial because, as I reported last night, a (admittedly very stiff) trigger is part of the bargain liberal and centrist health care agreed upon last night. We’ll try to pin down whether the announcement, or details, of the deal make Lieberman any less likely to filibuster the health care bill.“Regarding the ‘Medicare buy-in’ proposal that is being discussed, we must remain vigilant about protecting and extending the solvency of the program, which is now in a perilous financial condition,” Lieberman said. Back in 2000, Lieberman ran for Vice President on a platform of allowing people under 65 to buy into Medicare.

“It is my understanding that at this point there is no legislative language so I look forward to analyzing the details of the plan and reviewing analysis from the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of the Actuary in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid,” Lieberman said.

The entire statement is below:

“I am encouraged by the progress toward a consensus on proposals to send to the Congressional Budget Office to review. I believe that it is important to pass legislation that expands access to the millions who do not have coverage, improves quality and lowers costs while not impeding our economic recovery or increasing the debt.

“My opposition to a government-run insurance option, including any option with a trigger, has been clear for months and remains my position today.

“Regarding the ‘Medicare buy-in’ proposal that is being discussed, we must remain vigilant about protecting and extending the solvency of the program, which is now in a perilous financial condition.

“It is my understanding that at this point there is no legislative language so I look forward to analyzing the details of the plan and reviewing analysis from the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of the Actuary in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM’s senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he’s led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com

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