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Glenn Greenwald: Lieberman and Bayh Enriching Themselves and Their Spouses with Opposition to Health Reform

Saturday, October 31, 2009

By Heather
Crooks and Liars


Rachel Maddow talks to Glenn Greenwald about Joe Lieberman's threat to filibuster the health care bill if it contains a public option, Evan Bayh quickly following suit and the financial gain being made by both men and their spouses for doing so.
Maddow: Sen. Lieberman has made it very clear that he plans to oppose health reform that includes a public option. He’ll filibuster it in fact which would be historic. What do you think is motivating him?

Greenwald: Well I think you have to look first of all at a Research 2000 Daily KOS poll that was taken last month that shows that a margin of 68 to 21% of Connecticut voters, the people who he’s essentially representing, favor a public option. That’s a 47 point margin which is almost impossible to find on almost any other issue. So when you ask why he’s doing this, it’s clearly not because the people he’s supposed to be representing favor it.

I think clearly what it’s about is primarily that fact that the industry that he’s serving by doing this—by preventing competition with the public option—is an industry from which he receives very substantial benefits. He’s drowning in campaign contributions from the insurance industry, the health care industry, the pharmaceutical industry—more than $2.5 million.

In early 2005 his wife was hired by a large P.R. firm, Hill & Knowlton, in the pharmaceutical division, which at the time was representing the health care giant Glaxo in major legislation before the Senate. And several months later Joe Lieberman was on the floor of the Senate offering legislation that would directly steer huge amounts of incentives to that company in order to develop vaccines.

So I think what you’re seeing here is the kind of legalized corruption, legalized bribery that runs the United States Senate; only in this case it’s particularly sleazy and transparent because Lieberman is ready to gut the major initiative of the Democratic Party....
(Remainder.)

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