Lieberman opposes Baucus health bill

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Tuesday he will not support the healthcare bill set for a vote today in the Senate Finance Committee.

Though Lieberman is not a member of the 23-member committee that is set to approve the preliminary legislation crafted by Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the Connecticut independent is one of a handful of key Senate centrists who are shaping the fate of health reform this year.

"No, not the way it is now," Lieberman said during an appearance on "Imus in the Morning" on the Fox Business Network this morning when asked if he could support the Baucus bill.

Lieberman echoed concerns that the Finance committee bill would hike taxes on insurance companies, which would then be passed along to consumers.

"I'm afraid that in the end the Baucus bill is actually going to raise the price of insurance for most of the people in the country," Lieberman said.

Lieberman is also on the record as opposing a health bill containing a public (or "government-run") option, which serves as the centerpiece of the other Senate bill with which the Finance proposal will be merged.

The Connecticut senator, who has intermittently earned the ire of liberal Democrats for having broken with the party at key moments, said that President Barack Obama was trying to do "too much" on health reform at the moment, and urged a more incremental approach.

"The president's trying to do two good things, but doing them all at once in the middle of a recession may be really hard to pull off," he said.

"If you ask me, I'd say we should really focus on what's called healthcare delivery reform," Lieberman added. "To me, the first big step is to make some changes that really do bend the increasing costs of healthcare down."

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