House liberal leader: 'Waste of time' to cater healthcare bill to Snowe

Crafting a final version of health insurance legislation to attract moderate Republican support would be a "waste of time," according to the leader of the House Progressive Caucus.

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said on Wednesday that removing controversial provisions from the legislation, such as the public health insurance option, would weaken the bill and would sink the chances of the bill getting out of the House.

"Obviously it worries many of us a great deal," he said on ABC's "Top Line" this afternoon. "It is a waste of time for the White House and for leadership to cater to one vote."

Grijalva said Republican support won't amount to much.

"In the end of the day, there is going to be more unanimity on the Republican side in the Senate
in opposition to the bill," he said.

Yesterday, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) helped vote the Senate Finance Committee's version of healthcare reform, which did not include a government-run healthcare plan.

Snowe did not guarantee her vote for the final bill when speaking before the committee yesterday, causing some to suggest that Democratic leaders may remove controversial measures to attract her support down the line.

Centrist Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said today she may also support a final bill.

The congressman reiterated that he would not vote for a final bill if the conference committee removes the public option from it.

"Without a robust public option, the bill cannot get out of the House of Representatives," he added.

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