Susan Collins, R-Maine, has good news for Barack Obama. And he could use some, these days. From HuffPo:
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.
Okay, so there's two really important pieces of news here: First, Obama has taken a step closer to passing health care reform this year. That's good. But the second bit of news is the caveat that Collins wants to make "substantial improvements" to the bill. In other words, weaken it. That's bad.
"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 mind reels to think of what the Senate will do to gut this legislation and then, God help us, what the House will do to it once they get their hands on it.
Still and all, the news is mostly good. So I'll take it. But every time this bill passes through some committee or other, it gets watered down. What, at the end of the day, will we end up with?