• Senator Snowe's influence on reform

    Yesterday, I predicted this about Senator Snowe’s vote:

    This means it is unlikely that there will be a robust public option in the final bill.  I doubt the White House will want to lose their chance at a “bipartisan” bill.  Nor will the Senate.  I think they will make sure to retain Senator Snowe’s “yes” vote.

    Today I saw this in the NYT Prescriptions Blog:

    Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, the lone Republican on the Finance Committee to vote in favor of the bill, would be invited to future sessions. And Mr. Manley said the Democratic leader [Reid] was prepared to go to substantial lengths to keep Ms. Snowe’s support. “He is prepared to do what he can to keep her on board while putting together a bill that can get the 60 votes necessary to overcome a Republican filibuster,”

    Everything I said yesterday still holds.  Senator Snowe is going to have a major hand in the bill.  This means no robust public option, and potentially more cuts to the bill’s “cost“.  And I maintain that she will still be a driving force when it comes time to reconciling with the House.

    It could be worse, however.  Senator Snowe has her mind in the right place when it comes to subsidies.  And it may be better to have her at the table than some of the most conservative Democrats.

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