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Schieffer Reacts to Lieberman's Sunday Surprise

CBS News' Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer admitted that he was surprised by Senator Joe Lieberman's insistence on "Face the Nation" Sunday that he would not support a health care bill which includes the Medicare buy-in plan.

He was not the only one: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D- Nevada) was apparently also startled.

"What we found out later from Senator Reid's aides was that they were very surprised," Schieffer told Sharyl Attkisson on "Washington Unplugged" Monday. "Their version of it was that Senator Lieberman hadn't shared his feelings with Leader Reid. Senator Lieberman's people led me to another conclusion. I do not know who is right about that."

The Medicare buy-in plan, which would allow uninsured or over-charged Americans between 55 and 64 to purchase Medicare coverage, was proposed by the Senate Democratic majority largely to entice on-the-fence senators like Lieberman to support the bill.

"He made it very clear yesterday that he wants no part of this and he won't vote for it if its in there and he says you would never get Republican votes if it is in there," Schieffer explained.

The buy in "has been a little bit of a secret proposal or a deal that was struck about a week ago by five liberals and five moderates up in the Senate," the Washington Post's Ceci Connolly said.

Until the Congressional Budget Office scores the proposals, she said, no one will really know what is included in the plan.

Watch the full show above.

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