Oct 14, 11:48 AM EDT
Another GOP senator open to health care overhaul
By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
WASHINGTON (AP) — A second Republican senator signaled Wednesday she’s open to voting for sweeping health care legislation this year, putting President Barack Obama closer to a historic achievement that has eluded generations of Democratic leaders.
But Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told The Associated Press that the bill approved Tuesday by the Finance Committee needs substantial improvements to make coverage more affordable, contain costs, and protect Medicare. Nevertheless, she joined her Maine GOP colleague Sen. Olympia Snowe in endorsing the goal of far-reaching changes.
“My hope is we that can fix the flaws in the bill and come together with a truly bipartisan bill that could garner widespread support,” Collins said in an interview. “I think this bill is far superior to the ones passed by the Senate (health) committee and the three House committees, but it needs substantial additional work.”
The ten-year, $829 billion Finance bill was approved by the committee Tuesday on a 14-9 vote, after Snowe broke ranks with her Republican colleagues to support Chairman Max Baucus’ middle-of-the-road plan.