October 15th, 2009
05:18 PM ET
13 years ago

Democrats chastise Snowe over health care 'influence'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/10/15/snowe.backlash/art.olympiasnowevote.gi.jpg caption=" Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe on Tuesday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - There is candid frustration Thursday coming from rank and file congressional Democrats about the influence of Maine's Republican senator in the health care reform debate.

The way Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe sees it, she's just using the power any senator has: the power of one.

"The brilliance of our Founding Fathers was this: that they gave power equally to every member of the United States Senate, whether you represented a large state or a small state, and exercising that authority in a positive way," she said.

But the challenge now for Democrats is that Snowe opposes what most of them support: a government-sponsored health care option.

Full story

Filed under: Congress • Democrats • Health care • Olympia Snowe
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Lilarose in Bandon, OR

    Snowe's little temper tantrum a week or so ago gave me pause about just why she is the "one." It was about "don't tell me how fast to work, I will do this on my own time schedule."

    October 15, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. victim of republican greed

    When America's weeping willow, Joe Lieberman backed out to join his pals, Lindsay and John, he made 60 votes in the senate almost impossible. I think he is trying to be significant, but it is not easy for him.

    October 15, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    Boo hooo, she didn't listen to us. Boo hoo, she didn't do what we told her to do. Boo hoo, she didn't listen to Boss Rush Limbreath. Whhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Such cry babies. Give them their formula and put them to bed. Seriously.

    October 15, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  4. Jim

    I say she represents her constituents in Maine. she should place any and all her votes in a manner that reflects what THEY want ... not what she, or the republican party, want ... if it takes time to divine just what that vote should be, then, so be it. leave her alone and let her do her job.

    October 15, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  5. Kevin in Ohio

    The dems are never going to be happy. And when they turn this country in to a Communist state, they still won't be happy. Its amazing that they are chastizing the one member of the loyal opposition that sought common ground. Wake up America.

    October 15, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  6. DJ

    Yes precisely ...it seems the Senate committee is catering the entire proposal to the requirements of Senator Snowe. It should not be about what's best for Maine or one Republican Senator. The Republicans just don't want any type of public option so why bother catering to them? Either she supports or not, but don't hold the rest of the nation to her standards.

    October 15, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  7. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    What part of Snowe's statement that clearly said she voted today but that doesn't mean how she will vote tomorrow. I think she was very clear,

    October 15, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  8. dustin

    Lets get rid of the senate all together, its a disproportionate power structure. Apparently if i want to increase my individual power and any influence i can get on the senate, i should move to a state like maine with only 1.4 million instead of here in texas with our 24 million.

    October 15, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  9. Albo58

    Whether Snowe votes for/against the final bill will NOT make it a bi-partisan effort! Matter of fact, the bill is now being tweaked behind "closed doors" by the Democrats and the henchmen of this President. When they are finished with it, not only will most people not be given time to try a decipher it before it comes up for a vote, but Sen. Snowe will not even recognise it. They are bound and determined to put the budget-busting, government power-grabbing Public Option in it at all costs!

    October 15, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  10. FED UP

    Americans resoundingly want is a health care system overhaul. What congress is proposing is a health insurance overhaul. They are not fixing the problem. Insurance is a risk management tool. Some people use it very little, some use it a lot, the balance pays the indemnities and returns a profit to owners. Its a business. This means some (the healthy) do not buy insurance, some the (extremes of poor health) are denied coverage.

    Government wants to fill the gap. So lets not screw it up for the masses in the middle. Just raise everyones taxes and leave my inurance alone.

    October 15, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  11. Objective Thinking

    Sounds like some Democrats are jealous.

    October 15, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    She's just one vote! Democrats need to remember they've got the majority in the House and Senate – and that Republicans have demonstrated over and over and over again that they care more about the health insurance industry than the American people.

    To heck with the Republicans! Give what the majority (65%) of Americans want: a robust public option!

    October 15, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    Providing a robust public option, introducing real competition into the health insurance marketplace, relieving the stress on the American worker over the possibility of losing everything to one health care crisis, is NOT communism.

    In fact, it will result in reduced health care spending and a more productive and healthy populace.

    The only ones who will suffer under real health care reform are the private insurance companies and their over-paid CEOs. Frankly, I don't give a whit about them!

    October 15, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  14. A.B.

    I think that the Democrats have given snowe too much power and importance thanks to Max Baucus. Mr. Baucus should remember who has the power in Congress and in the White Hosue–Democrats!!
    The Public Option is the right way to go and it should be included into H.R. 3200 and the Democrats should take back their power and vote for the bill with the Public Option. Conservative Democrats need to be chastised and encouraged to get the program and support the bill with the Public Option.

    October 15, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  15. Shirley In California

    Personally, I'm not impressed with her.

    October 15, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  16. mjm

    When you NEED 60 to pass your bill...your bill does not deserve to pass.

    If you need 60, your bill is junk.

    The Iraq war got more votes than this.

    Don't blame Snowe for your failed public option.

    October 15, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  17. Don in Albuquerque

    Pass a bill without a public option and the Dems need to watch what happens next. Get all the money you can from the insurance companies now boys, because election day is coming. And Mr. Reid needs to be the first to go.

    October 15, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  18. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Why don't we just follow Vermont's health care program?

    October 15, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  19. JB Sullivan, MD

    The nations' physicians back the public option as shown in the New England Journal of Medicine study recently published. The majority of the public support the public option. Senator Snowe needs to accept this and support thios option also.

    October 15, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  20. Idiot_Pelosi

    I'll pay attention when someone tells NANCY "BOTOX" PELOSI to shut up. She is a disgrace.

    October 15, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  21. Four and The Door

    She was wrong for voting for the stimulus bill and that is already proven. She is wrong for voting even to accept the Baucus health care proposal.

    Public Option health care is not reform at all. It's just a way to take competition out of health care insurance and ruin a big chunk of our economy very quickly. Health care in the US would become just a bigger, more expensive mess and the taxpayers would get clobbered.

    October 15, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  22. Peter E

    Why are people on both sides so afraid of democracy? She has one vote, and she represents the will of the people in her state. If she fouls up, it is for the people of Maine to throw her out. If she represents them, they have every right to keep her.
    And there are several democrats against the public option. Several! How come democrats don't criticize those people as much as one republican vote, who was willing to compromise, unlike those 'blue-dog' (code for 'bribed by the insurance corporations') democrats?
    Democrats need to get their own ranks in order before they criticize others!

    October 15, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  23. Audrey in Georgia

    I agree with Alan Grayson that Snowe was not elected President, Obama
    was. It is great she has come through for the Democrats so far but she
    has made it clear that a public option is not what she will vote for. Now
    that we know this, she should be excused from the table and told her
    services and time have been appreciated. The Democrats will take
    it from here. Thank you!

    October 15, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |

    Give me a break! Just because she voted for socialized medicine in the commitee, she is a republican, which means she thinks for herself instead being told how to vote like congressional democrats. I smell another smear campaign on a independent, smart, and female republican . Thats tolerance for ya!

    October 15, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  25. Ken, AZ

    I agree with most Democrats that Sen. Snowe has been given too much in the health care reform debate just for the sake of bipartisanship. In my opinion, a single republican vote does not make the bill bipartisan, and I personally don't care if it passes with no republican votes at all as long as it passes. Therefore, Democrats should fight tooth and nail for inclusion of a strong public option.

    October 15, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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