GOPer Collins Opposes House Dems

Nov 9, 2009 4:05pm

ABC’s Z. Byron Wolf reports: Here’s a wrinkle in the abortion debate: Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, one of the few Republicans considered to be a strong supporter of abortion rights, said today she opposes the language inserted in the House health reform bill to ban coverage of abortions, except in certain cases, for women who would receive federal subsidies to buy their health insurance. Collins said (off-camera) she prefers a “firewall” approach like the one incorporated into the Senate Finance Committee’s version of health reform. That bill stipulates that federal funds shouldn’t be used for abortion, but allows insurance coverage for abortions if companies to set aside a portion of private premiums to pay for the procedures. for abortion services and the Secretary of HHS is responsible for ensuring only private funds are used. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what Collins thinks since she opposes the totality of Democrats health reform efforts. But for a Republican woman to think the Stupak language is unnecessary could provide some ammunition to the Democrats trying to insure the language does not end up in the final final version of health reform. There was a time in the not so distant past when Democrats were hopeful that Maine Republican Susan Collins would buck her party, as she did with the stimulus, and vote for Democrats health reform plan. Her Maine colleague and fellow Republican Olympia Snowe – who supported the Finance Committee version of health reform earlier this fall — is one of two Republicans in either house of Congress to vote for a Democratic plan. And Collins, like Snowe, has said she will work with moderate Democrats to try to improve whatever bill Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid unveils and sends to the Senate floor, probably later this month. But Republican leaders in the Senate have recently turned to Collins to help lead opposition to Democrats efforts.

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