Joe Lieberman and the Health Care Industry

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) not only represents a large number of health insurance companies based in Connecticut, he has also received $448,066 in contributions from the industry throughout his career. It is no wonder, then, that he’s pledging to join Republican Senators in filibustering the health reform plan if it includes a public option that competes with his health insurance industry donors.

According to data complied by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, Sen. Lieberman has received $448,066 from the health insurance industry throughout his career.

Connecticut is home to some of the country’s largest health insurance companies.

  • According to a survey by Insure Connecticut's Future, the state is home to 11 accident and health insurance companies and five hospital and medical service plans. [Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc., December 2006]

Despite a long record of supporting significant healthcare reform, Sen. Lieberman has been increasingly incoherent about his current reasoning for opposing the public option. The Washington Monthly recently compiled his evolving views. [Washington Monthly, November 2009]

  • In June, Lieberman said, "I don't favor a public option because I think there's plenty of competition in the private insurance market."
  • In July, Lieberman said he opposes a public option because "the public is going to end up paying for it."
  • In August, Lieberman said we'd have to wait "until the economy's out of recession."
  • In September, Lieberman said he opposes a public option because "the public doesn't support it."
  • In October, Lieberman said the public option would mean "trouble ... for the national debt," by creating "a whole new government entitlement program."
  • In November, Lieberman called the public option “a radical departure from the way we've responded to the market in America in the past.”

Health reform and the public option are extremely popular in Connecticut

  • According to a September Quinnipiac poll, “Connecticut voters support 64 - 30 percent giving people the option to buy health insurance from a government plan.” [Quinnipiac, September 17, 2009]