Olympia Snowe

BREAKING: Finance Votes Yes, All Dems Plus Snowe
October 13, 2009

And there it is: Fourteeen votes for the Baucus bill, nine against. Maine Republican Olympia Snowe joined the entire Democratic delegation, including Blanche Lincoln, Jay Rockfeller, and Ron Wyden, the Democrats most likely to defect. Just a few weeks ago, the survival of health care reform seemed seriously in doubt. Town halls were turning into riots, Betsy McCaughey was running amok, and President Obama's popularity ratings were sinking. Putting together fifty, let alone sixty, votes for health reform seemed like an awfully tall order. It's still not a done deal.

BREAKING: Snowe Is a Yes
October 13, 2009

Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, just now before the Senate Finance Committee, said she would vote to move the Baucus bill out of committee. She warned that she still wanted improvements and put down some markers, making clear she won't support a bill that moves substantially in the direction of what the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee passed.  But, she said, "When history calls, history calls." That it does. Is this a good thing? At the Washington Post, Ezra Klein says yes.

Could Snowe Vote "No" in Committee?
September 25, 2009

Senator Kent Conrad's smack-down of Senator Jim Bunning provided one of the few entertaining episodes in this week's Finance Committee hearings. But another moment during the same debate, one involving Senator Olympia Snowe, deserves some attention, as well. For those who missed it, the debate was over Bunning's proposal that Finance wait for final legislative language before holding its final vote on a health reform bill.

Wonk Off!
September 23, 2009

The Senate Finance Committee has just cast its first vote of the day, and the claws are already out. Senator Jim Bunning had an amendment requiring the bill to be translated into legislative language and for the CBO to post a cost estimate based on the new version 72 hours before voting. It's a proposal that would delay the vote by at least 2 or 3 weeks, and opinions divided almost strictly along party lines.

Mislabeled
September 21, 2009

 WASHINGTON -- It's time to cast aside the political shorthand and ideological pigeonholing that distort our debates over health care in particular and government's role in American life more broadly. The way words such as "centrist" and "bipartisan" are now deployed turns the discussion away from useful arguments over how various proposals might work and toward arid talk about how ideas fit into prefabricated boxes. The impact of this warping of reality, brought home daily in the health care fight, was dramatized in last week's debate in the House of Representatives over a bill to expand fed

EXCLUSIVE: Finance Bill Won't Increase the Cap on Subsidies
September 14, 2009

  Since the Baucus framework was released last week, there's been an ongoing debate about whether the Finance Committee's final bill will include any significant changes. One area of dispute has been the subsidy cap for uninsured families: Chairman Max Baucus set it at 300 percent above the federal poverty level in his framework (about $66,000 a year for a family of four). But others in the committee--including Olympia Snowe and Jeff Bingaman--have wanted to raise the subsidy cut-off to 400 percent (about $88,000 a year for a family of four).

A Peek at What Max's Bill Really Means
September 14, 2009

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus says he will release a health care bill* very soon, maybe in the next 24 hours. And we already have a pretty good idea what it will look like, thanks to an outline Baucus has distributed to the Gang of Six--the bipartisan group with which he’s been trying to hammer out a compromise. Sources inside the Finance Committee say that the formal bill will look a lot like that proposal, with some minor modifications.

If the Trigger’s Out, Is Collins In?
September 14, 2009

Susan Collins quickly stepped into the media spotlight yesterday after saying on CNN that she wouldn’t support the trigger because “it just delays the public option.” Such remarks seemed to have prompted some liberal bloggers to write off Collins entirely, given her unwillingness to compromise on the issue. “We've gotten several emails in recent days from readers asking why all the focus is on Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) when it comes to a compromise on public option,” Talking Points Memo writes today.

The Centrists’ Take on the Speech: Pretty Darn Good
September 10, 2009

The moderates and centrists critical to ongoing health care negotiations seemed to have found a good deal to their liking in the president’s speech tonight. Senator Olympia Snowe—a central focal point for the TV cameras scanning the chamber—issued a statement tonight that praised the President’s stated desire to bend the cost curve and, just as significantly, to ensure that the bill does not add to the deficit.

The Centrists’ Take on the Speech: Pretty Darn Good
September 10, 2009

The moderates and centrists critical to ongoing health care negotiations seemed to have found a good deal to their liking in the president’s speech tonight. Senator Olympia Snowe—a central focal point for the TV cameras scanning the chamber—issued a statement tonight that praised the President’s stated desire to bend the cost curve and, just as significantly, to ensure that the bill does not add to the deficit.

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