SNOWE JOB - AT 7:41 P.M. ET: Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine, a moderate Republican who often votes with Democrats, is recommending that President Obama take the public option in health-care reform off the table:
A key Republican senator who President Obama hopes will support his effort to overhaul the nation’s health-care system urged him Sunday to take any plan for a new government-run program “off the table.”
Senator Olympia Snowe, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, where the most-watched version of the health care bill is being written, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the so-called public option is “universally opposed by all Republicans in the Senate” and “therefore, there’s no way to pass a plan that includes the public option.”
Ms. Snowe, who has previously criticized the public option, said she thought it unwise at this juncture to be clinging to the public option because doing so “leaves open a legislative possibility that creates uncertainty in this process.” On the other, she said, scuttling the public option for good “could give real momentum to building a consensus on other issues.”
COMMENT: If Snowe is against it, it's probably dead. It's unlikely the Dems could get the 60 votes in the Senate needed to override a filibuster, as several Democrats would probably also abandon the public option.
Obama should do what he's been advised to do, endlessly: Work on fixing the flaws in the system, not overturning what works for 80% of Americans.
September 13, 2009