Bernie may vote no

The Vermont Independent tells Fox News' Cavuto he will vote against healthcare reform

By Thomas Schaller
December 17, 2009 7:03PM (UTC)
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Last night on Fox, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders told Neil Cavuto he will vote no on the health care bill.

SANDERS: I'm going to do my best to make this bill a better bill, a bill that I can vote for, but I've indicated both to the White House and the Democratic leadership that my vote is not secure at this point.

And here’s the reason: When the public option was withdrawn, because of Lieberman's action, what I worry about is how do you control escalating health care costs? How do you give competition to the private insurance companies, who are raising rates, premium rates, outrageously every single year—whose whole function in life is to make as much money as they can?

What a strong, Medicare-type public option would do is at least provide competition to these private insurance companies and prevent, I believe, these large increases in rates.

CAVUTO: So unless they change that, they are not going to be counting on Bernie Sanders.

SANDERS: Well, I’m doing my best right now to make this bill a bill that works for the American people.

CAVUTO: So they gain Joe Lieberman and lose you? That sounds like a wash to me.

SANDERS: Well, we will see what happens.

 MyDD's Charles Lemon and Igor Volsky of Think Progress have more.

Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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