Does Snowe Now Support A True Public Option?

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July 21, 2009 9:33 a.m.

Yesterday, Harold Pollack reported that Olympia Snowe had shifted her stance on the public option.

I believe that the reforms we are creating will result in more competitive, affordable and innovative options for Mainers, yet we can all agree that we must not leave universal access to chance. That is why I also support a public plan which must be available from day one.

I’ve reached out to Sen. Snowe’s office to confirm that these words are indeed hers–a source suggests that the statement was delivered at a Maine health care rally by one of Snowe’s aides on her behalf.

Remember that Snowe has long been a proponent of a “triggered” public option, which would give insurance companies time to meet certain benchmarks and only mandate the creation a public option if they fell short. Snowe also sits on the Senate Finance Committee, which has been wrangling over the public option–and alternatives thereof, such as the co-operative model–for weeks. If Snowe now supports a public option “available from day one” it could be a notable shift. That language echoes the principles of the campaign Health Care for America Now almost word for word–for all intents and purposes it means “no trigger.”

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