This just in: Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), just bucked her party's leadership and will vote in favor of the Baucus Healthcare Reform Bill coming out of the Senate Finance Committee this afternoon. Live Updates on the vote: HERE.
This is both good news and bad news.
Good first: This is progress. She easily could have voted against it and the bill could have been stalled in committee. Don't forget this is the first time healthcare reform has even gotten this far in Congress. (Remember 1993?)
Now for the bad news: The Baucus Bill sucks. I pray the liberals like Rockefeller and Dodd who will be working on it during the conference committee, can help the final bill be a lot less crappy.
Also, bad Snowe emphasized that her vote in favor of the bill at this point does not guarantee her vote later on (read: you better not change it before we send it to the floor or you'll lose my vote).
All in all, today is a positive one because some progress was made. We are a little further along in the process than we were yesterday.
Since she announced her decision just a little while ago, the right wing began to go completely nuts (naturally) over her "disloyalty" and even the insurance company is panicking a little bit, now pushing the ridiculous line that a public option will threaten medicare. Everyone is getting desperate.
Update 2:52 p.m.: The final vote, as expected once Snowe announced her intent, was 14-9. All five congressional committees have now reported out their health care reform bills.
The battle for reform wages on...