September 8th, 2009
04:36 PM ET
11 years ago

HCAN targets Snowe, Collins ahead of Obama speech

Sen. Olympia Snowe has been in quiet talks with the White House about a a 'trigger' option, which would threaten the insurance industry.

Sen. Olympia Snowe has been in quiet talks with the White House about a a 'trigger' option, which would threaten the insurance industry.

As President Obama prepares to deliver his health care message to the American people Wednesday night, the umbrella group Health Care for America Now and union allies launched a weeklong media and grassroots campaign in Maine to pressure the state's GOP senators to back a public health insurance option.

Sen. Olympia Snowe has been in quiet talks with the White House about a  "trigger" option, which would threaten the insurance industry with a new public health insurance plan in several years if it did not meet certain coverage standards.

The new $280,000 campaign aimed at Snowe and fellow Republican Sen. Susan Collins will include radio, print and television advertising in the state through Saturday, along with mailers and an online petition calling on Snowe to "stand up to the insurance company lobbyists."

In one of the 30-second television ads, "Insured," a cancer survivor relates her fear of losing health insurance if she changes jobs.

"We have to have reform that allows people to keep their health insurance if they like it but that forces the insurance companies to behave themselves," says Maine resident Lee Roberts. "We need Senator Snowe to continue her independence and show us that she cares more about the people of Maine than the insurance lobby."

In "Maine Small Business," a small business owner argues that the proposed overhaul would help his business become more competitive.

The groups said Tuesday they have also sent letters to President Obama, Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus emphasizing the need to "regain momentum" and move forward on the bill within the next week.

Filed under: Olympia Snowe • President Obama
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    This is perfect. Sen. Snowe is the one I believe we can apply pressure to and get her to go along with a public option. Being a senator from Maine in a part of the northeast which is ultimately liberal, I think we can get her to go along with us on a public option. A trigger like what she is suggesting will have to be impemented as soon as any reform is passed. Threatening the insurance companies is not how you get the to shave cost, but implementing competition IMMEDIATELY is how you do that.

    September 8, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. gt

    pysco left wing nut jobs ... wrongfully going after two good women...pityful....

    September 8, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. Idiot_Pelosi

    Forget the UNIONS.

    TaxPayers already bailed out most of the AUTO Unions.

    This is just a UNION wanting MORE without having to pay for it, and have OTHERS pay for it.

    BOYCOTT union backed products.

    September 8, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Nothing 'Stand Up' about Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)

    HCAN is right.

    We don't need another trigger for a public option.

    The insurance companies have proven for decades that their greed knows no bounds.

    The time to pull the trigger - to put an end to corporate waste and abuse that has brought our health care system, and our economy with it, down to its knees - HAS ALREADY PASSED!

    Senators, you represent the people.

    Stand up to the insurance company lobbyists!

    September 8, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. Willy Brown

    Sure Snowe,Collions and th rest of the soft republicans will cross lines they are and always will be a RINO's. I just wish they switch parties too..

    September 8, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  6. Gary's Opinion

    I like Sen Snowe because she is thoughtful and moderate and shows a willingness to compromise. But I don't want any government panels, government options or increased taxes so I hope that she finds a solution with private insurance, malpractice reform and elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions. We need 20 moderate Democrats and 20 moderate republicans to sit down and draft a bill together. The ultra liberal Democrats like Pelosi and Reid are dominating the Congress and trying to force bills through that are bad for the country.

    September 8, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  7. AntiRush

    I seriously doubt that the "trigger" option would work. Here is the typical scenario for the gov't setting deadlines. As an example, they give the car industry 18 months to increase MPG by 10%. Seventeen months from now, having done absolutely nothing to comply, the car industry says that they can't meet the deadline and they need more time. If the trigger option is used, it should work as follows: there should be a whole series of standards that have to be met, and the deadlines should start within 6 months and end within 24 months, of the signing of the bill. If the insurance company fails to meet any of these standards along the way, the public option would immediately kick in. No second chances. No extending deadlines.

    September 8, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. Wake Up

    How about standing up for the constituion and states rights? Stop Marxism Now!

    September 8, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. Nathan,

    These morons on the right can't ever seem to get anything right. THey get the reasons for war wrong. They get Obama's speech to the school children wrong. Why would anybody take their concerns about the dread that will come from seeing that Americans can go to the doctor seriously. These morons haven't goten anything right since um, er, ah, um, oh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 8, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Chris

    In this part of America, there are many people who were raised on welfare and have passed this ability on to their children. Some of the more brazen ones will even tell you that they will not work as long as they can collect the benefits Uncle Sam provides. Lower cost of healthcare is another way to extend that attitude. What we need is to find a way to get these people on someone's payroll and stop pretending that these are rights for "every" American. No, they are not, but many of our Americans seem to think they are. It's up to the media, the government, and the citizens to tell them the money is not going to continue. Do that and make America strong again. Fail, and we shall fail in the end.

    September 8, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. fellow from chicago

    They wasted the $280,000. These two women are Republicans in name only. They're Dems thru and thru as well as the constituents they represent.

    September 8, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  12. ran

    We need single payer non-profit universal health care. Anything less will never bring down cost or cover everyone. Any for profit system is not there to provide health care but to make money for the company/shareholders.

    I guess it is too simple for people to see.

    Single payer non-profit universal health care.

    September 8, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  13. Jimmy the Greek

    Of all the GOP members – Olympia is the most "liberal".... so any attack by rabid liberal groups and unions will only make her MORE sympathetic!!

    Mark my words... any such attacks will surely backfire.

    And as a REAL conservative – I wouldn't cry any tears if she were defeated.

    September 8, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  14. Seth

    The Republicans can't touch Snowe and Collins, they don't need the Republican Party and if they get a hard time they will simply switch to the Democrats because Maine is already Obama-Land.

    September 8, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. Michael

    So when republicans protest they are called terrorist when a organization protests such as or some other crazy liberal gang or union. The people who they are attacking are the enemys and they are what "Freedom Fighters". Hypocrisy and liberals go hand and hand.

    September 8, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  16. Moderate Democrat

    We need to make sure that the insurance companies HAVE to compete against a government entity. If they are running such a good business and are moral in their operation, then they should have no reason to feel threatened.

    If they are threatened by competition (Government or otherwise), then it only proves they are screwing us!

    Get the bill passed. With or with out republican support. We will be voting out those who were against it, and only voting for the ones who are for it. We still have your back Obama. We will give you a HUGE super majority in 2010.

    September 8, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |

    Would you actually want the government to impose a fee ($3500 has been put forward) if you choose not to have healthcare? Do you feel that it is OK for Rangel to insert a tax law that is very strict on penalties and fines for those who actually make an honest mistake on their taxes (even though his are very questionable). Do these laws apply to the politicians? Will the politicians be required to have the same government run healthcare? Why is there NO tort reform? I have seen these questions asked, but the only answer that I have seen is the Democrats voted down an amendment requiring them to have this healthcare if it goes through. Why are these questions never addressed? CAN SOMEONE PLEASE JUST ANSWER THE QUESTIONS! Maybe someone here can answer some if these since the majority on this site is for healthcare. Thank you.

    September 8, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  18. malclave

    HCAN is just a lefty asroturf group. Which means the hypocrites here at CNN will love them.

    September 8, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  19. The Lady

    Thank you Ms. Snowe for putting out country first, you are a true Republican.

    September 8, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. Dave

    I don't remember electing Snowe to be President and getting to decide whether or not we get a health care package, did I miss an election?

    September 8, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  21. JonDie

    The Snowe-Collins "trigger" plan sounds reasonable, no wonder most Republicans are against it. Of course, most Republicans are against ANY reform of our broken health care system.

    September 8, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  22. yuri

    Some of the brave GOPs like Snowe and Collins might even consider joinin' the Dem. party and continue to contribute to the calamity that should befall the Repubs., most certainly.

    September 8, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  23. southerncousin

    Hope this shows Snowe remembers all the accolades she received from the libs when she voted with them and now they are trying to wreck her. So much for that much vaunted liberal idea of bi-partisanship. They lied to you Olympia, just like they lie to America.

    September 8, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  24. Ted

    Good luck trying to pressure a real Mainer to do anything. Senator Snowe will do as she pleases, whether people like it or not. That is what a real New Englander is all about.

    Happy to be from New England

    September 8, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. Johnny 2 in Kalamazoo

    Why do democrats need to spend money to get republican votes? They hold majority in both houses.

    September 8, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
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