Maine Senators Weigh In on Healthcare Vote; Protestors Come Forward 

Senator Olympia Snowe released a statement Sunday on the status of the health reform legislation currently before the United States Senate. She said: “Having been fully immersed in this issue for this entire year and as the only Republican to vote for health reform in the Finance Committee, I deeply regret that I cannot support the pending Senate legislation as it currently stands, given my continued concerns with the measure and an artificial and arbitrary deadline of completing the bill before Christmas that is short changing the process on this monumental and trans-generational effort.” But that didn’t stop people from trying to get the senator to change her mind. People were lined up outside of Senator Snowe’s offices in Presque Isle, Bangor, and Portland to encourage the senator to vote for the bill.”So we’re here today to encourage our senators to vote yes for healthcare to vote yes to helping mainers and to vote yes to small businesses in maine face an 18% surcharge just because they’re a small business,” Said the state director for Maine Change Phill Bailey at Sunday’s rally.Senator Collins also weighed in saying it is unfair that Republicans were allowed to offer only seven amendments to a bill that affects every single citizen and one-sixth of our nation’s economy.Senator Collins said: “Our nation’s health care system requires substantial reform. The status quo of soaring health care costs, families struggling, millions uninsured, and health care provider shortages is unacceptable. That is why I am so disappointed that the partisan legislation before the Senate falls far short of what should be the goals of reform. This bill will actually increase health care costs, impose billions in new taxes, fees, and penalties, and hurt our seniors, health care providers, and small businesses. I simply cannot support such a bill.” A vote to end the debate portion of the healthcare overhaul was passed by a 60 to 40 margin in the senate Sunday night. Further votes on the bill itself will be taken this week.