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Not to Be Upstaged by Snowe … « The Washington Independent

That other Maine Republican, Sen. Susan Collins, released a statement this morning commending the decision of her Maine colleague to cross the aisle yesterday in support of the Senate Finance Committee’s health reform bill.

Due, in large measure, to the efforts of Senator Olympia Snowe, who has worked tirelessly, the legislation passed by the Senate Finance Committee represents a substantial improvement over the costly and flawed alternative approved by the Senate Health Committee as well as the House bills.

That doesn’t mean, however, that Collins would support the bill as it stands. Indeed, her statement also takes time to blast provisions she said would raise costs and steal choices from consumers and businesses. A final proposal, she said, shouldn’t slow Medicare growth to the extent that the Finance bill does, and it should take longer steps to limit medical malpractice suits.

Still, Collins said she “share[s] the goal of passing responsible health care reform and, working with members on both sides of the aisle who share these concerns, I am hopeful that many improvements will continue to be made to produce a bill that can achieve bipartisan support.

Our goal should be legislation that protects affordable health care choices, safeguards Medicare, and reduces costs to the consumer and the taxpayer especially at a time when we simply cannot afford to pay more.

That’s not an endorsement, but it’s certainly a more tempered approach than that coming from GOP leadership.

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