Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s use of his swing vote to help quash a proposed expansion of Medicare marked the latest act in his deteriorating relationship with the Democratic Party.
Cheered nine years ago by Democrats as their vice-presidential nominee, Mr. Lieberman later left the party and now is an object of vilification among many in the party’s base because of his positions on health care.
Along with forcing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) to drop plans to expand Medicare to people ages 55 to 64, Mr. Lieberman and a handful of other centrists also kept a government-run health plan out of the Senate health-overhaul bill.
Mr. Lieberman’s positions have infuriated Democrats in a way that those of wavering Democratic senators, such as Nebraska’s Ben Nelson and Arkansas’s Blanche Lincoln, haven’t. Those senators come from conservative states and appear to be searching for ways to support a health overhaul while reflecting their constituents’ views.