February 24th, 2010
03:09 PM ET
7 years ago

Snowe, Lincoln call for bipartisan push on health care reform

Washington (CNN) – Two Senate moderates are teaming up in a bipartisan push for health care reform.

"We remain convinced that convening a bipartisan group of Members who are committed to reform is essential if we are to breathe new life into the broken health care reform process and rebuild confidence that our government is able to set aside partisan bickering and achieve meaningful results for working families facing enormous health care insecurity," Sens. Olympia Snowe , R-Maine, and Blanche Lincoln, D-Arkansas, said in a statement issued Wednesday. "No one party or ideology carries a monopoly on ideas – our constituents do not care if a workable solution comes from Democrats or Republicans."

"Legislation designed to help small businesses provide health care coverage to their employees should be a starting point for building a larger health care reform bill with bipartisan support," Snowe and Lincoln also said.

The "bill could pass with bipartisan support, alongside other broadly supported health insurance reforms. These might include requiring greater cost transparency from insurance companies, commonsense malpractice reforms, and allowing young people to stay on their parents' coverage until age 26. We believe that it is possible to take these critical first steps and to do so in a transparent and bipartisan manner."

The move by Snowe and Lincoln to push for bipartisanship comes a day before the White House's health care summit where President Obama will hold a daylong, televised meeting with congressional leaders from both parties.

Follow Martina Stewart on Twitter: @MMStewartCNN

Filed under: Blanche Lincoln • Health care • Olympia Snowe • Senate
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Ryan


    I would rather pay the same amount of my insane insurance premiums to a government that gives me care and doesn't hold any stipulations against me like pre-existing conditions then support these insurance companies that have record profit year after year after year and raise my rates for no reason at all and STILL make ridiculous profits!!!!!

    YOU ARE A MORON IF YOU THINK THIS IS SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and you're an even bigger moron if you think our system is better than countries that actually are socialized – because they don't have nearly the death rates that we do and they have never once flocked here for medical care or attempt to sway their government to get on a program like what we have here! Canadians actually feel sorry for us. So don't the Brits. So doesn't all of France (which is rated the best healthcare in the nation) – How on earth are we considered 1st-world!?!?

    February 24, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. Steph

    Thank you ladies. It's sad that your party leadership wouldn't include you in the talks tomorrow.

    February 24, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. Albert R. K. . L.A., CA

    No, not another Snowe job of Olympic proportions. These Republicans still think America cares whether a few of them are on board? The problem in the Senate is the majority does not rule which has allowed Republicans to throw tantrums at health care town halls, yelp at our President during Congressional speeches and utter only a spiteful “Waaahhh, Waaahhh” during Senate health care debates. Harry Reid can accomplish health care reform without Republicans by using a reconciliation vote thereby taking these Republicans out to the woodshed teaching the golden rule that “majority rules,” and maybe even reform their bad behavior by showing them they are nothing more than a spolled little brat..

    February 24, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. Sgt. USMC

    That's all we are asking for, thank you Snowe and Lincoln. Great job!

    February 24, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. Mike in MN

    Snowe and Lincoln got it right when the say constituents do not care if a workable solution comes from Democrats or Republicans.
    That is exactly where Obama is getting it all wrong. His biggest goal of the summit it to convince voters that Republicans do not have a workable solution. But over 50% of voters have already decided they do not see Obamacare as a workable solution. Attacking the Repubican plan will not change that. Voters are not worried about the Republican plan, they are worried about Obamacare.
    Over 50% of voters oppose Obamacare. A new Rasmussen poll shows 64% of voters want to kill the bills and start over. 63% think a better approach would be to do reform in smaller bills that address individaul problems. And only 34% approve of how Obama has handled health care reform with 50% disapproving.
    Obama has a deep hole to dig out of.
    Voters like some of the parts in Obamacare and strongly dislike some very major parts. If polling was done on the Republican plan posted on their web site my guess is voters would like a lot of it but feel it is not robust enough.
    To get to where the vorters want to go the current bills need to be killed and a new true bipartisan bill needs to be written. To do nothing will anger voters and so will cramming Obama care down their throats.

    February 24, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. ETM

    Neither one of these senators has a bit of credibility. Lincoln voted for the Senate bill but is now running behind her opponent in AK and looking for a way out. Stand by your convictions, Senator.

    As for Snowe, she deliberate helped her party delay the health care reform package long enough for a monkey wrench to be thrown into the process. She may be a moderate in many things, but she is also deceptive and untrustworthy.

    Message to the Democrats: Pass the HCR bill now and use reconciliation in the Senate. No more delays!!!

    February 24, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. Charlie in Maine

    I want a public option but I am realistic enough to put that off in order to get the bulk of what is needed. I am proud of my Senator for continuing to work on this. What is right is more important than who is right.

    Beside as a good environmentalist I have a soft spot for endangered species. As a moderate Republican Sen. Snowe certainly qualifies.

    February 24, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. al in memphis

    Cooperation with the other party–who let this happen.. Looks like we are behind on our smear campaign. Aren't those corporate campaigns dollars comming in quick enouth to quelch this.

    Where is that volume button for the socialist, communist, big government rhetoric when you want to kill a good idea

    February 24, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. NCite45

    Why is Snowe and Lincoln implying that this bill represents ideas and ideology from Dems only, when it's been compromised to death appeasing the gop

    February 24, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. Jill, California

    Finally, Republicans who want to do good for the country and its citizens, and not just for the rich who can afford great health care already.... Thank you Sen. Snowe and Sen. Lincoln.

    February 24, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. If I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    It would be nice to move beyond the 'stupidity first' mentality of the republican senate.

    February 24, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. gw

    Of course, both have done everything to slow down or stop the health bill from moving along. They are a part of the problem.

    February 24, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. TomInRochNY

    I think I've just found two senators who are going to be pushed out of congress by their respective parties. Say hello to Bayh for me.

    February 24, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Capsaicin

    I trust Blanche Lincoln and Olympia Snowe's 'new' commitment to a bipartisan group about as much as two snakes in the grass. We've already had months of bipartisan groups (Baucus et al) and do not need to waste months more time while the media Right go ballistic again. Americans want the best parts of the existing House and Senate bills along with a few highlighted Republican improvements and want it now. Not more frustrating 'process'.

    February 24, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. JLP

    If the democratic controlled senate is primed to jam the current bill down our throats, then bipartisanship on this issue is all but dead. With Harry Reid`s plan to use reconcillation, the presidents meeting with congressional leaders is just for show. It would be nice to have real reform, but trial lawyers and AARP wont let it happen. There is too much money at stake.

    February 24, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. KLS

    I pray Snow and Lincoln are successful in their push for bi-partisanship.
    Working together Congress might actually do something that helps the average hardworking American taxpayer instead of only helping big businesses make more money.

    February 24, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. Laura

    Leave it to two intelligent women to try to push for badly needed health care reform in this country. There are issues both parties can agree on and voters want these reforms. Hats off to Snowe and Lincoln for demonstrating the true spirit of democracy!

    February 24, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Neither one of them are to be trusted. I don't like Snowe or Lincoln and see them as liars and just want to water the all ready water bill down even more.

    February 24, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  19. Ellie

    It's TIME for Republicans to follow the example of the Olympia Snow and Blanche Lincoln by STEPPING UP and working with President Obama, the House and the Senate on PASSING HEALTHCARE REFORM.

    NOTHING IS PERFECT, it will NEVER please every one, but it's a START. We as Americans and a COUNTRY have to start somewhere. Healthcare reform can always be IMPROVED, MODIFIED AND REVISED. BUT doing NOTHING is just absurd.

    When do our politicians on BOTH SIDES in Washington stop all this madness and START putting the AMERICAN PEOPLE FIRST and COUNTRY FIRST.

    February 24, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. Janice

    NObama and his show has come to a halt.America does not want his socialist healthcare agenda and his working with the GOP is for show.He is all show and no action.

    February 24, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. Mark L.

    Sens. Olympia Snowe , R-Maine, and Blanche Lincoln, D-Arkansas, said in a statement issued Wednesday. "No one party or ideology carries a monopoly on ideas – our constituents do not care if a workable solution comes from Democrats or Republicans." Well, the NERVE !! Senator Snowe & Senator Lincoln – I DO HAPPEN TO CARE !! Because I know for a FACT the Republican Party is solely interesting in protecting the interests of the GREEDY privatized healthcare insurance companies along with their 'Fat Cat' lobbyists and CEO's. At least the Democrats have a plan that would insure 31-million Americans that currently walk around with NO INSURANCE. What is the Republicans proposal to resolve this dilemma? Hmmm? Tell Me I don't care whether the solutions come from Democrats or Republicans...LOL...That is the BIGGEST JOKE I EVER HEARD !! And as for you, Senator Lincoln, if You're Not WITH US then You're AGAINST US !! I propose we pass the sweeping healthcare reform legislation via the reconciliation process, just as the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, proposed !! You call yourself a Democrat and yet you are against this? Why don't you just switch over to that Grand Ol' Plunderer (GOP) Party while you're at it?

    February 24, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. Margaret Lehmann

    These courageous women deserve praise for their reasonable approach to health care reform--in the face of the obstuctionist right wing's myopic "Vote No" view.

    February 24, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. Rick McDaniel

    Stop wasting time on a bill no one wants, and pay attention to creating jobs for people.

    February 24, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Congress get your act together! Democrats get a spine!




    February 24, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. Vic of New York

    There is no such thing as compromise with REPUGNICANS - get that through your thick skull!

    February 24, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
1 2 3