Dems Look to See What it Would Take to Get Sen. Collins’ Vote

by Donny Shaw
December 1, 2009

For months, Olympia Snowe [R, ME] was considered the only Republican whose vote was anywhere near attainable for the Democrats on health care. But according to the Politico, now that the public option is likely to be dropped from the bill, fellow Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins’ vote may now be in play too:

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has asked top administration officials to make certain changes to the Senate health care bill as part of discussions that suggest her vote is up for grabs.

Collins met Monday with White House health reform director Nancy-Ann DeParle and Health and Human Services health reform director Jeanne Lambrew. The senator said she put several amendment requests on the table: raising the penalty on hospitals with high rates of hospital-acquired infections, changing the small business tax credit to prevent it from discouraging hiring and increasing wages and boosting the affordability of insurance.

She also wants to get rid of the public option and doesn’t seem willing to support even the most distantly-related alternatives. Asked is she liked the idea of Sen. Tom Carper’s [D, DE] “triggered co-op” alternative she said, “I am not a fan.”

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