Snowe: Baucus Bill “Moves in the Right Direction”

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) says that the Finance Committee’s health care draft represents a step “in the right direction,” but warns that “a number of issues still need to be addressed — including cost assumptions and ultimate affordability to both consumers and the government as well as ensuring appropriate competition in the health insurance exchange.”

What she ultimately decides to do will likely depend on how the bill changes during hearings next week. But for now, Democrats aren’t particularly optimistic. You can read her entire statement below the fold.

“This is a first step in the process and those of us as members of the bipartisan Group of 6 fully intend to keep meeting, moving forward and continuing to work with the Chairman during the committee process toward crafting a bill that I, and hopefully other Republican members of the Finance Committee, can support. I believe the Chairman’s legislation moves in the right direction away from a government-run system contained in bills that have passed other Congressional committees, but a number of issues still need to be addressed — including cost assumptions and ultimate affordability to both consumers and the government as well as ensuring appropriate competition in the health insurance exchange.

“Moreover, I have repeatedly insisted that Committee Members are given sufficient time to read the legislation – and for the Congressional Budget Office to provide its cost projections – given the monumental complexity of this issue. As one of three Republicans in the Group of 6, I have appreciated the Chairman’s leadership of the only bipartisan effort in any committee in either the House or Senate, which has laid real and substantial groundwork for bipartisan cooperation during this ongoing process – and I will continue to work toward that goal as the committee continues its deliberations.”

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