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Snowe: If the bill has a public option, I will support a filibuster

Olympia Snowe is making it very clear where she stands on the public option:

"Would [inclusion of a public option] be enough for you to vote against the cloture motion?" a reporter asked Snowe on her way off the Senate floor Thursday afternoon.

"On the public option? I'd say I'm against a public option, so yes," Snowe said.

"But would it be enough for you to say, 'I'm not going to proceed to this bill?' " the reporter pressed. Snowe nodded on her way into the elevator.

Snowe said she also opposes the opt-out version of the public plan, which would allow individual states to remove their residents from the federal exchange. "I don't support that," she said.

Incidentally, almost 60 percent of Snowe's constituents support a public option.


By Ezra Klein  |  October 22, 2009; 2:44 PM ET
 
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Comments

What about "opt-in"?

Posted by: maritza1 | October 22, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, you have from the beginning drunk the beltway koolaid that says there exists such an animal as a moderate Republican with integrity who is in favor of real health care reform. Olympia Snow simply voted for the Baucus sham bill because it was just another way to try to sabotage public option. Your earlier posts about AHIP carried the same kind of narcotic thinking:
AHIP and the GOP are now unmasked. There is not going to be one vote from the GOP for anything.

From Steve Champlin, the AHIP lobbyist, speaking to a GOP group.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/22/ahip-lobbyist-to-gop-dont_n_329828.html

"There is absolutely no interest, no reason Republicans should ever vote for this thing. They have gone from a party that got killed 11 months ago to a party that is rising today. And they are rising up on the turmoil of health care," said Champlin. "So when they vote for a health care reform bill, whatever it is, they are giving comfort to the enemy who is down."

Posted by: cmpnwtr | October 22, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Gotta agree, Ezra -- you've been punk'd by Snowe. We told you so: she's a Republican first and an American second. Live and learn, I guess.

Posted by: scarlota | October 22, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

BURN!

Posted by: obrier2 | October 22, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe that the people being polled on their support of the public option are aware of the full range of implications of it. If people knew that a public option could entail intrusive cost containment measures, and hinder their ability to get access to therapies, they might feel differently.

Posted by: bailey8 | October 22, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Is this a bluff?

What happened to "when history calls, history calls?"

Maybe we should file this under 'what she says today, she says today' and shouldn't be used to forecast future sayings.

Posted by: bcbulger | October 22, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Two health care companies have the market locked up in her state. A good question for Senator Snowe, "why do you hate competition?"

I don't believe that the people being polled on their support of the public option are aware of the full range of implications of it. If people knew that a public option could entail intrusive cost containment measures, and hinder their ability to get access to therapies, they might feel differently.

sorry, but that's just incorrect. The people who are being told that a public option is DOOM are the ones who do not understand the full implications of letting the status quo stand.

Posted by: fourlegsgood | October 22, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Isn't pricing someone out of the market or denying treatment for a bogus reason also a pretty "intrusive cost containment measure"?

Posted by: Mimikatz | October 22, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Bah, middle paragraph is not mine - was quoting from Bailey08

Posted by: fourlegsgood | October 22, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Well now that Supreme Leader Snowe has spoken. . .

Guess it is time for Democratic unity on a cloture vote.

Posted by: PorkBelly | October 22, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

and this is news?

its better to ask this question of Nelson, Lieberman, Conrad, Laudreau etc.


if any of them answer yes, the public option is dead.

unless of course you want to sneak it through reconciliation and see if die (sunset) before it ever takes effect.

Posted by: visionbrkr | October 22, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@fourlegsgood:
"The people who are being told that a public option is DOOM are the ones who do not understand the full implications of letting the status quo stand."

False choice. Being opposed to the public option does not mean you want to maintain the status quo.

Posted by: ab13 | October 22, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Snowe said the public option would be "enough" for her to filibuster. She didn't say she actually would. I still hold out some hope.

The key to getting a bipartisan majority is to have a darn good bill which guarantees affordability. Then you can start strengthening the mandates, tax employer benefits, expand the exchanges--whatever you want to do--but the Medicare+5% public option is the foundation that makes it all work.

Posted by: bmull | October 22, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Time to call her bluff. Put it in there and make here and the ConservaDems filibuster it. Then we can ask President Snowe about this "momement" and bring on "the right side of history".

Until then, she's just giving cover to the ConservaDems who are starting to get a little worried that they'll have to vote for Cloture on a bill that has a PO, and one that appears to be getting a bit stronger than the old (Never To Be) Triggered PO.

John

Posted by: toshiaki | October 22, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

What's the matter with Maine?

60% oppose Snowe on health reform
60% approve of Snowe's performance

Posted by: akmakm | October 22, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Someone should tell Snowe about the 57% wanting the public option.

She doesn't need to worry about a Republican primary opponent I'm thinking.

She needs to consider the general election, yes?


Posted by: HalHorvath | October 22, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Some commenters here, including our beltway pundit, Ezra Klein, are fond of talking about the 60 votes needed to pass HC legislation. Actually that's 60 votes for cloture, and they are there.

Nelson, Baucus, Conrad, Landrie, and Lincoln, and that rest of the blue dog naysayers know full well that if they filibuster with the Rs they are the ones Doomed, lose their chairmanships, lose their clout, and maybe their next election. There will be 60 votes for cloture, and ABC news is reporting it today.
http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2009/10/public-option-its-back.html#

Posted by: cmpnwtr | October 22, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

cmpnwtr, thanks for the link. It answers a big question.

"Another important point: Reid’s version of the public option is different from the more liberal version advocated by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in two key ways: 1) Reid’s version would allow individual states to opt-out of the program, giving public option critics the chance to say that their states retain the right to scrap the idea; and, 2) Under Reid’s plan, the new government insurance program would have to negotiate payment rates with health care providers. Under Pelosi’s, payment rates would be tied to the lower rates paid by Medicare."

There is more.

Posted by: HalHorvath | October 22, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"False choice. Being opposed to the public option does not mean you want to maintain the status quo."

Posted by: ab13

So, preferring single payer to either the public option or the status quo, or preferring an NHS-style delivery system to either the public option or the status quo?

Posted by: davis_x_machina | October 22, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Snowe has more support from Mainers than the public option does. She can do whatever she wants and win re-election.

Posted by: mbp3 | October 22, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Daily-Reports/2009/October/22/Nelson-Public-Option.aspx

Posted by: HalHorvath | October 22, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Many of these "centrists" simply want to be in the middle I'm guessing, so when the middle moves...

Posted by: HalHorvath | October 22, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

ezra, there is no such thing as THE public option.

until this public option is something more than a vague idea, like clean coal, then polling on it is meaningless, at least in the context of a serious disucssion on the nitty-gritty of a health care bill.

Posted by: dummypants | October 22, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

also, is ezra's star turn coming to an end?

i suspect that washington pos website readers can only read ezra wax about "bending the cost curve" so many times. add to that the fact that it clear that health care is going nowhere and i see ezra going to the same way as Froomkin.

although Ezra will undoubtedly have a more noble landing then Froom Froom as he actually does research and cranks out original content. he's pretty smart too, but i think americans are close to being wonked and technocrat-ed out.

Posted by: dummypants | October 22, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

@davis_x_machina:
"So, preferring single payer to either the public option or the status quo, or preferring an NHS-style delivery system to either the public option or the status quo?"

Our choices are also not: single payer, NHS, public option, status quo.

Posted by: ab13 | October 22, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I say call their bluff. Include the public option in the bill and dare people to kill it. After all, killing this legislation this year enhances the probability that we will have a single payer system within the decade.

Posted by: bcbulger | October 22, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I say call their bluff. Include the public option in the bill and dare people to kill it. After all, killing this legislation this year enhances the probability that we will have a single payer system within the decade.

Posted by: bcbulger | October 22, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

i hope for your sake you remain insurable then. that's a great attitude to take. Are you progressives going to explain to all those poor people with pre exisiting conditions why you sold them out?

Posted by: visionbrkr | October 22, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

"Incidentally, almost 60 percent of Snowe's constituents support a public option."

But too many of them, encouraged by the media, vote on personality and superficiality rather than health care for millions of Americans. That's a very blue state with a Republican senator really hurting the cause of universal healthcare.

Posted by: RichardHSerlin | October 22, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Can we get 60 from the Democratic caucus?

If not can the public option be done through reconciliation separately?

Posted by: RichardHSerlin | October 22, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Public Option is coming and will pass the Senate, either by 60 for cloture and 51 to pass, or by budget reconciliation. But it's coming and without Olympia Snowe. But she will salute Rush Limbaugh and AHIP and get a pat on the head. Well done, Olympia!

Posted by: cmpnwtr | October 22, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Let Snowe vote against this. Then let Maine decide whether it wants someone like this representing it.

Either way, this kind of talk hurts her more than the bill.

Posted by: leoklein | October 22, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I guess Ms. Snowe wants to dictate to all Americans (not just Maine) under what criteria she will allow us to have a public option?

The Opt-Out option is the only fair way to go.

I think after reflection she may change her mind.

Posted by: cautious | October 23, 2009 2:42 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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