Meet Joe Lieberman, Medicare buy-in advocate. It's the winter of 2000, and Lieberman is pressing flesh and kissing babies in Bangor, Maine as the presidential election approaches. After holding a town hall meeting with voters at Bangor's opera house on Main Street, Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, sits down with the local paper to discuss the upcoming election and his ticket's plan to improve the nation's health care system by allowing some younger Americans to "buy in" to the government run program. As his running mate, Al Gore, has been doing on the trail for weeks, Lieberman talks up the value of a buy-in, eloquently arguing that it's a great compromise way to get incremental health care reform past members of Congress wary of a robust health care reform bill.
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You know the members he's talking about. The ones that say any government-run health insurance plan, including a Medicare expansion, will bankrupt the country and hurt private insurance companies. The ones that, as of this weekend, count Joe Lieberman as one of their strongest allies.
Joe Lieberman, meet Joe Lieberman.