Snowe Could Be Lone GOP Health Care Vote

Democrats hope centrist senator can get them past 60
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2009 9:15 AM CDT
Olympia Snowe talks about health care reform during an interview at the Associated Press bureau in Portland, Maine, on Monday, June 29, 2009.   (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach)
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(Newser) – As health care talks grow more polarized, Democrats are looking to Olympia Snowe as their most likely—and quite possibly only—Republican vote, the New York Times reports. “I certainly hope not!” exclaims Snowe when asked about the possibility. But the centrist Maine senator has long been engaged on health care issues, and believes deeply that reform is necessary.

Democrats have been negotiating with Snowe, Chuck Grassley, and Michael Enzi, the Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee, but Grassley and Enzi seem increasingly at odds with Democrats’ plans. Snowe supports many Democratic ideas, including some form of public insurance, and disdains partisan warfare. “It shouldn’t be about winning and losing,” she says. “If it comes down to all or nothing in this polarizing standoff, that does nothing to serve the interests of this country.”