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Lieberman Sees Positive in Health Bill, but Still Opposed

Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) on Tuesday called Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) health care reform bill “quite an accomplishment,— but he said he still opposes the $848 billion package in its current form.Reacting to a Congressional Budget Office analysis of Reid’s bill that showed that insurance premiums would stay the same or go down for Americans who access coverage from large-group plans, Lieberman said the results are positive given Reid’s bill would also extend coverage to millions of uninsured Americans.But Lieberman, who has said that he will not vote to end debate on the bill if it contains a public insurance option of any kind, said his position has not changed. Reid’s package includes a public option with an opt-out provision for the states.“I think when you consider the fact that Sen. Reid’s proposals covers 30 million more people with insurance than are covered now, it’s quite an accomplishment to do that without raising premiums,— Lieberman told reporters Tuesday, before adding: “It doesn’t change my position. As a matter of fact, it strengthens my position. My feeling is, the public option doesn’t support any of the major goals that I’ve always had for health care reform.—Lieberman’s support could prove critical as Reid tries to corral 60 votes for a final health care package. Reid has said he would keep the Senate working through the weekends to get a bill passed by Christmas.

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