Connecticut Politics And Joe Lieberman

Patrick takes issue with my Lieberman take:

He's not "being brought to heel by the politics of his state"? What about the Connecticut insurers? They make up a sizable part of contributions to his office. There is nothing necessarily wrong with Lieberman representing the interests in his state, and with DNC money no longer flowing to his office, it makes sense that Lieberman would be more careful about upsetting financiers. I also suspect Lieberman is preparing for life after politics.

Yes, probably a little too strong. All I can offer in my defense is the fact that the politics bearing down on Lieberman are, evidently, constantly shifting. Here's Lieberman three months ago:

Reform should also include malpractice reform and health exchanges, which would offer different plans for varying costs and coverage for individuals or small businesses, he said.

Lieberman added that he supports mandating that no one can be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions and that everyone be required to have health insurance.

As to how 47 million uninsured will afford coverage, Lieberman said only 12 million don't have insurance because they cannot afford it.

By allowing citizens who are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid to buy in for a rate below the private market, the government can extend coverage to more of those who are currently uninsured, he said.

To arrive at his position, Lieberman said he reached out to "every conceivable group" in the state, including residents, providers, doctors and hospitals.

Three months later, Lieberman is talking filibuster.

UPDATE: Via Matt Yglesias (and Greg Sargent) video of Lieberman outlining why he supports a Medicare buy-in. It was all good, just three months ago...

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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