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  Lieberman: Obama Never Pressed Me On Public Option
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Last EditedPenguin  Dec 21, 2009 12:56pm
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AuthorRyan Grim
News DateMonday, December 21, 2009 06:55:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionSenator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) insists that the White House did not pressure him to get in line behind either a public health insurance option or a Medicare buy-in compromise during the health care debate this year.

"Well, no. I think I got pressure from the president to be for health care reform," Lieberman said when asked by HuffPost about any pressure from the administration to support either the public option or the Medicare buy-in. "I'd have to think about this, but I didn't really have direct input from the White House on this."

He added that Nancy-Ann DeParle, a top administration health care aide, downplayed the public option's significance early in the debate.

"Early on, Nancy-Ann DeParle came in, I told her my argument, I said, 'Nancy, I don't remember this ever being in the presidential campaign debates -- or discussions. I don't mean just the debates. And she said, 'You know, it's interesting. We went back and checked and there's one mention in the bottom of a paragraph of an Obama presidential policy statement on health care where it's mentioned as an option.' But most of the negotiation I had on that was with Senator Reid."

When Obama addressed the Democratic caucus towards the end of the debate, as the public option was teetering on the brink, Lieberman said the president told him simply to work it out.
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