"I do not support...a government owned, government run insurance company," Collins said.
"I have only to look at the experience of my own state in establishing a government run plan to see the problems that arise."
Collins was referring to the Dirigo health agency, which provides subsidized insurance to poor people in Maine who don't quite qualify for Medicaid.
"I think we have learned a lot from the Maine plan," Specter retorted. "We know what not to do. We're not going to adopt a Maine plan. That experience will stand us in good stead. We won't make the same mistake."
Specter went on: "And when Senator Lieberman talks about single payer, I think he's putting his finger on the pulse of it. That's what people have concluded [but] the public option isn't single payer, and it is not going to add to the deficit, it's going to be a level playing field. So I would like everyone to read the fine print and [for my colleagues] to re-read the fine print."