B’nai B’rith endorses House health plan, Lieberman sticks it to the Dems

Several major  Jewish groups, apparently pressured by lay leaders who don’t want sweeping health care reform with a public option, have backed off as the debate rages in Washington.

Not B’nai B’rith; the group, known in recent years for its services and advocacy for the elderly, quickly endorsed the measure unveiled today by Democratic leaders in the House.

“The House bill being unveiled today will create competition, control abuses, and improve the Medicare program in several important ways,” said B’nai B’rith Director of Aging Policy Rachel Goldberg. “The provisions in the House’s legislation meet vital requirements for comprehensive healthcare reform that will have the most positive impact on the most people.”

B’nai B’rith will participate in a Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) briefing for House staffers today.

Meanwhile, you have to wonder how Senate Democrats feel about their decision earlier this year – backed by President Obama  – to let Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut independent, keep his important  committee posts, despite his support for Sen. John McCain in last year’s presidential election and despite the fact that on a whole range of issues he’s more Republican than Democratic.

The thinking back then was that Lieberman could prove critical on Democratic efforts to end GOP filibusters.  But this week Lieberman said he would support Republican filibusters against any health care reform legislation that includes a public option.

In other words, on a key element of the most important piece of legislation the Democrats have proposed, Lieberman – who represents Connecticut, the home of many big insurance companies – is going to stick it to the Democrats.

I’m guessing Senate Democratic leaders are regretting their decision to kowtow to Joe. I’m also guessing they’re too scared to do anything about it.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.