HC Bill Resting on Lieberman's Shoulders?

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A lone hold-out on health care reform is forcing Democrats to make concessions.

Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman said Tuesday he will not vote for their plan, unless the public option and Medicare expansion are stripped out.

Democrats, however, need Lieberman on their side. Otherwise, he is poised to single-handedly take down the current health care reform bill.

To get a bill passed, Democrats need 60 votes so losing Lieberman would sink the legislation.

"Some of my colleagues I think we're just trying to load it up with too much and what happens then is that you run the risk of losing everything," Lieberman said.

Click play for more analysis with CBN News White House Correspondent David Brody.

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Liberals are furious at the senator, who has proven in the past to be a reliable Democratic vote on economic issues. Now, they're floating a video of Lieberman showing his support for a Medicare buy in just three months ago.

"What I was proposing was that they have an option to buy into Medicare early and again on the premise that that would be less expensive than the enormous cost," Lieberman said in the video.

He says he made those comments before seeing the finance committee bill that came out of the Senate.

"I didn't change my mind on the Medicare buy in," Lieberman responded.

This situation is no doubt code red for the Democratic party.

President Obama met with the Senate Democratic Caucus Tuesday at the White House knowing this is a critical juncture in the process.

"Let's be clear. The final bill will not include everything that everybody wants," he said.

Meanwhile, Senate democrats are feeling the heat inside the Senate chamber from Republicans. The GOP claims that the health care reform wouldn't take effect until four years from now, but the taxes would begin immediately

"Everybody in America is going to be taxed," GOP Sen. Kay Bailey said.

"These are regressive taxes that are going to be passed on to the American people," Sen. John Ensign added.

The heat is just as intense outside the Senate chamber. Thousands came to D.C. Tuesday to protest what they say is a huge financial, big government bill.

Vice President Joe Biden said he's confident Lieberman will vote for a final health care bill.

The president added that he's "cautiously optimistic" that a bill will be passed.

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CBN News
David Brody

David Brody

CBN News Chief Political Correspondent

David Brody is an Emmy Award-winning veteran news journalist who has interviewed many prominent national figures during his career of nearly 25 years. Currently, David covers the White House and interviews national newsmakers across the country.  Follow David on Twitter @TheBrodyFile and "like" him at Facebook.com/TheBrodyFile.