If Schieffer had bothered to challenge Lieberman on the blizzard of misinformation he spewed out in those few minutes, he would have exposed the hollowness of Lieberman’s arguments. But as is usually the case, all the questions he asked were about the politics of reform....
Among the baloney that Lieberman sneezed all over Schieffer:
- He said a public option would "hurt the economic recovery." The public option, and the rest of health-care reform, won’t take effect until 2013.
- He said including a public option will "end up causing the government to raise taxes, will probably raise premiums, or it will put us further into debt." The legislation mandates that the public option be paid for entirely by premiums, so it can’t cause the government to raise taxes or take on more debt. As for the public option "rais[ing] premiums," if Lieberman has an explanation for how it is supposed to lead private insurers to raise their premiums, I’d sure like to hear it. Some argue that competition from the public option will lead insurers to lower their premiums, while others are skeptical. But this is the first time I’ve heard anyone suggest what Lieberman did, because it is simply nonsense.
- He said "The public option I think was raised in the last year by people who really want to have a government-controlled health insurance system." Actually, there were versions of the public option in the plans proposed during the 2008 campaign by Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards.
You don’t have to be a health-care wonk to know that these things are false. All you have to be is informed on the debate that is currently gripping Washington. But Schieffer challenged Lieberman on none of his claims -- in fact, Schieffer didn't ask him a single substantive question during their discussion about health care.
Lazy? Stupid? Indifferent? It doesn't really matter which of those things Bob Schieffer is. What matters is that once again, Joe Lieberman got a national forum to self-glorify and spew a bunch of lies.