Snowe to Vote for Health Bill

She provides crucial Republican support for Obama's overhaul
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 13, 2009 12:26 PM CDT
Senate Finance Committee member Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine places her nameplate down upon her arrival on Capitol Hill today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe says she will vote for a Democratic health care bill, breaking with her party on President Obama's top legislative priority. The Maine senator kept virtually all of Washington guessing how she would vote until she announced it late in the Senate Finance Committee debate today. "When history calls, history calls," she said, adding that she continued to have reservations.

"Is this bill all that I would want? Far from it," she said, citing the danger of "governmental bureaucracies." She emphasized that today's committee vote doesn't guarantee she'll vote for the final measure that emerges in the Senate. Democrats, aware that Snowe could be the only Republican in Congress to vote for their health care overhaul, have spent months addressing her concerns about making health care affordable and how to pay for it. The panel is expected to pass the bill later today.