Sunday, December 13, 2009

Joe lit up the health-care industry's cigars Sunday

WELL, Sen . Joe Lieberman must have gone to bed quite pleased with himself Sunday night. He succeeded, as is his wont, in making headlines all over the Internet as well as the New York Times as the potential destroyer of the health care reform bill. It reaffirmed his image as the Zelig-in-Chief in the wearying months-long congressional debate, telling Senate Majority leader Harry Reid eyeball-to eyeball that the bill hasn't made enough concessions to Republicans so he will join a filibuster to stop it in his tracks. Concessions to Republicans? And Joe considers himself a deeply religious man!

The Connecticut Independent (Huh!) has become an expert at blackmailing the Democratic leadership while retaining a committee chairmanship in the Democratic caucus. My hunch is that he will continue to play this ugly role until the November 2010 election, counting on a Republican senate majority that will swab him with political gravy. Inasmuch as he's already forfeited his honor, he's got nothing worthwhile to lose.

Meantime, we are told that poor women are being denied cancer screenings in a growing number of states whose health-care funds are shrinking. In Ohio, for example, the Cancer Society reported that a $2.5 million allocation in 2008-09 for such screening has been cut to$700,000 in 2009-10. It's a brutal thought, but as the opponents of health care reform might shrug and tell you, "You just can't keep everybody from dying."

And if you woke up Monday morning with a rotten odor in the air, that was from the cigars that the folks at the insurance companies and pharmaceuticals lit up to celebrate their guy Lieberman's careful attention to their requests.

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