Two key senators criticized the most recent healthcare compromise
Sunday, saying the policies replacing the public option are still
Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) both said a Medicare "buy-in" option for those aged 55-64 was a deal breaker.
"I'm concerned that it's the forerunner of single payer, the ultimate single-payer plan, maybe even more directly than the public option," Nelson said on CBS's "Face the Nation."
Lieberman said Democrats should stop looking for a public option "compromise" and simply scrap the idea altogether.
"You've got to take out the Medicare buy-in. You've got to forget about the public option," he said.
If Democrats stick to relying primarily on the bill's subsidies, the legislation would pass easily and with bipartisan support, Lieberman argued.
Nelson's comments are somewhat surprising, considering he was one of the 10 Democrats tasked with putting together the compromise.
He said this morning that he participated simply "to be a friend of the process."
"What we've put together is something to get scored," he said.
Most Democrats still don't know what exactly the compromise entails. Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDemocrats brace for tough election year in Nevada The Memo: Biden's horizon is clouded by doubt Fight over Biden agenda looms large over Virginia governor's race MORE (D-Nev.) has sent the bill to the Congressional Budget Office but will not release the details until a score is final.
Lieberman said this morning that Reid fears the new compromise proposals would "get mauled" if they're released without a score to back them up.
Indeed, another senate centrist said this morning that her vote would be decided by the results of the CBO score.
Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillEx-Rep. Akin dies at 74 Republicans may regret restricting reproductive rights Sunday shows preview: States deal with fallout of Ida; Texas abortion law takes effect MORE (D-Mo.) said she would not vote for any bill that doesn't reduce the deficit and bring down healthcare costs.
If those two criteria aren't met, "we'll have to go back to the drawing board," she said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Jay RockefellerJohn (Jay) Davison RockefellerHumorless politics a sad sign of our times Bottom Line World Health Day: It's time to fight preventable disease MORE (D-W.Va.) remained optimistic, arguing that as a final vote nears senators will come around.
"The closer you get, the more you have to look at the whole bill, and you say, 'I have to do this for the nation,'" he said.