Snowe: President thought opposition to health law would eventually fade away

President Obama believed that opposition to his healthcare reform law would fade after the 2010 election, according to former Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).

Obama courted Snowe’s support in an attempt to make the bill bipartisan. He assured her GOP opposition to the law would be short-lived, she said.

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“He thought the opposition to it would lessen after the [2010] election. I said, ‘It’s just the beginning.’ I said, ‘It’s going to grow because I can tell you it’s not going to go away and it’s going to get worse,’” Snowe said in a radio interview moderated by Julie Mason, host of SiriusXM’s Press Pool.

Snowe was invited to participate in the new series, “SiriusXM Leading Ladies.”

Obama locked his attention on the centrist Snowe to the exclusion of other members of the Senate Republican Conference.

He invited her to the White House for a lengthy one-on-one meeting and later followed up with a half-hour phone call, according to a New York Times report from December 2009.

Snowe ultimately spurned Obama’s entreaties. She voted for a version of the measure in the Senate Finance Committee but opposed it on the floor. The Maine senator told the president that public opinion would further sour “because of the implementation problems, which would just exacerbate and aggravate the opposition and those who were opposed to it to begin with.”

Snowe, who was one of three Republicans who backed the 2009 stimulus package, retired from the upper chamber at the beginning of this year.