WaPo’s Klein: Lieberman Willing to Cause 'Deaths of Hundreds of Thousands' To Settle 'Old Electoral Score'

Whatever happened to just opposing policy for the sake of it being bad policy, as is the case of many people's view of the current health care reform proposals making their way through Congress?

That reason is just not good enough for some, particularly Washington Post blogger and food critic Ezra Klein. In a post on The Washington Post's Web site dated Dec. 14, Klein viciously attacked Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Ct., after reports surfaced that Lieberman would filibuster the current health care bill if it meant expanding Medicare (h/t Amanda Carpenter at The Washington Times) (emphasis added).

"And if there's a policy rationale here, it's not apparent to me, or to others who've interviewed him," Klein wrote. "At this point, Lieberman seems primarily motivated by torturing liberals. That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score."

Klein bases his "hundreds of thousands" total on a nearly two-year old Urban Institute paper that asserts the deaths of 137,000 people occurred between 2000 and 2006 "because they lacked health insurance."

And Klein wrote in his post the policy rationale isn't apparent to him, but Lieberman did explain it on CBS's Dec. 14 broadcast of "Face the Nation."

"[I]t puts us all in a very difficult position because we don't know exactly what's in [the 2,000-page bill]," Lieberman said. "But I will you that, on one part of it, the so-called Medicare buy-in, the opposition to it has been growing as the week has gone on. And though I don't know exactly what's in it, from what I hear, I certainly would have a hard time voting for it because it has some of the same infirmities that the public option did."

And based on that Lieberman says, it is bad for the country for a myriad of reasons, which apparently is insufficient for Klein.

"It will add taxpayer costs," Lieberman said. "It will add to the deficit. It's unnecessary. The basic bill, which has a lot of good things in it, provides a generous new system of subsidies for people between ages 55 and 65 and choice and competition. So, you know, [Face the Nation host] Bob [Schieffer], I think we're at a - they're not 60 votes for health care reform in the Senate now. We're at a point where -- and yet the basis of the bill, covering 30 million people who can't buy insurance today, regulating insurance companies so they treat consumers more fairly; for instance, not denying them health care."