Sen. Olympia Snowe announced Tuesday that she will vote for health care reform legislation before the Senate Finance Committee, becoming the only Republican to back the bill and virtually assuring passage.
... through the Senate Finance Committee, at least. Snowe made sure to note that though she would vote for it in Committee, she wouldn't vote for it on the floor until she had seen a final CBO score of the bill AFTER it had been merged with a bill from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which includes the controversial public option. That could be considerably more pricey.
This is a good headline for Democrats today, but it doesn't solve the underlying friction between moderate and liberal members of Congress. The ability to attract one Republican may stregthen Baucus's hand during negotiations with Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Chris Dodd (representing the HELP Committee) and embolden Blue Dogs in the to oppose the inclusion of a government-run plan in the House. Everything will hinge on whether House liberals cave in on their demand for a government plan, or dig in.