There's not much that I can add to this...
WASHINGTON – An independent senator counted on by Democrats in the health care debate showed signs of wavering Sunday when he urged President Barack Obama to postpone many of his initiatives because of the economic downturn.
"I'm afraid we've got to think about putting a lot of that off until the economy's out of recession," said Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman. "There's no reason we have to do it all now, but we do have to get started. And I think the place to start is cost health delivery reform and insurance market reforms."
...except to note three things:
- Sen. Lieberman's not, strictly speaking, against health care rationing per se; he's just worried about what will happen to the Democrats and this administration if the House leadership keeps screaming-and-leaping on the issue. Which is a very reasonable worry, but it's not a particularly conservative-friendly one.
- That being said: if 'health delivery reform and insurance market reforms*' can be extended to include Rep. Shadegg's (R) 'allowing customers to buy personal insurance across state lines' and Rep. Ryan's 'meaningful tort reform" (neither are negotiable, of course)... sure, those two features are excellent things with which to assemble a workable health care bill around. A pity that House Democrats didn't think things through from the start, but that's life.
- I imagine that not a few members of the netroots ground their teeth at the sight of, once again, Senator Lieberman... actually, that sentence works just fine as is.
PS: I'm wrong: there was a fourth thing. There was another Democratic Senator on that panel with Lieberman, and that Senator had a prime opportunity to stand up for progressives, liberals, and everybody else in favor of health care rationing. But because that Senator was Ben Cardin, he instead fell all over himself to both agree with Lieberman, and to keep repeating the same line about cutting costs at every possible opportunity.
No surprises, in other words.
*There's a bit of uncertainty on what those two things mean, actually.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.