This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," December, 10 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: So, is Joe a no? While Harry Reid is reportedly crafting a deal behind closed doors on health care, is this senator in or out?
With us now, Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, of course former vice presidential candidate for these United States.
Senator, always good having you. Which way you going to go on this?
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (I), CONNECTICUT: Good to be here.
Well, the direct answer is, hat Joe doesn`t know, because Joe doesn`t know what — nor do most other members of the Democratic Caucus — know what is in the compromise proposals that came out of the group of 10 senators that Senator Reid sent to the Congressional Budget Office.
The good news for me, who felt that the government-created, government-run public insurance option, so-called, was a bad idea, unnecessary, add to the debt, add to taxpayer costs, seems to be going, going, maybe not quite gone, but certainly fading.
What has happened now is that some of the people in the Democratic Caucus who were advocating for the public option seemed to acknowledge that it is on its way out and are trying to get a few other things, I would say unrelated, in return. But the...
CAVUTO: But how do you know — how do you know, Senator, they just didn`t put lipstick on a pig? It`s still a pig, right? It`s still a public option.
LIEBERMAN: Well, yes.
CAVUTO: Many might argue that an expanded Medicare roll, or offering it to folks as young as 55, is public option by another name.
LIEBERMAN: Well, I`m concerned. It is not a new government-run insurance company, it`s expansion. Of course, I`m speaking speculatively, because nobody can see the proposal for four days or five days.
But it sounds like it is certainly adding costs to Medicare, which is already in jeopardy, and — and the experts tell us is going to go bankrupt in about eight years. In adding more people, it`s also going to probably increase the cost of the premium.
CAVUTO: All right. So, now, Senator, with all due respect — and I love you dearly — we have been promoting the drama to your appearance, in a typical FOX Alert way.
LIEBERMAN: Yes, love you.
CAVUTO: Like I was saying, we`re 120 seconds away. This was 120 seconds before your appearance. LIEBERMAN: Yes. Yes.
CAVUTO: You were going to make a dramatic announcement, akin to getting off the fence.
LIEBERMAN: Yes, I wish I could.
(CROSSTALK) CAVUTO: And now, I`m now going to have to alert this with a FOX News non-alert. This is not an alert.
LIEBERMAN: No. Well, here`s what I have said all along. I wouldn`t vote for cloture...
LIEBERMAN: ... which is to say to let the bill come off the floor if there was a public option, government-run insurance company in it, et cetera, et cetera.
CAVUTO: Right. Well, that`s out now. That`s out by this definition.
CAVUTO: So, that — that — it sounds like you would be for it.
LIEBERMAN: That seems to be out.
But I don`t know where I am, because all I have heard is a general description. We actually had a caucus of Democrats yesterday evening, and Senator Reid said — apologizing, said, this is most unusual. We think we have come to an agreement, but we can`t tell you the details until we get a Budget Office...
CAVUTO: OK. So, I`m going to try this another way.
LIEBERMAN: Go ahead.
CAVUTO: One to 10, one being you hate the heck out of it, 10 being you love it, Joe Lieberman, crucial vote in the United States Senate, where are you between one and 10?
LIEBERMAN: Well, I will tell you, maybe I`m at a five, which is to say I`m undecided, because, just, there`s a lot...
CAVUTO: Oh. That`s not what we wanted to hear.
LIEBERMAN: I know. I will come back when I decide. But here`s my point.
CAVUTO: What was the announcement, then, you were going to make here? That?
LIEBERMAN: I don`t know. I was just going to answer your questions, Neil.
The announcement, really, is that I don`t know how anybody can decide until you see the actual language of these compromise proposals. And, on the Medicare buy-in, I have increasing concerns, as I think a lot of other colleagues in the Democratic Caucus, including some of those who were not concerned about the public option.
LIEBERMAN: And their concern is the impact a Medicare buy-in would have on cost shifting. It would shift costs to private insurance premium- payers, 180 million in our country, and it would probably put hospitals and other people...