PORTLAND — Sen. Olympia Snowe says the newly passed health care reform bill will hurt small businesses and job growth.

Following passage of the bill in the House late Sunday, Snowe issued a statement critical of the package and the process lawmakers took to pass it. A moderate Republican, Snowe has played a central role in the health care reform debate over the past year.

Snowe said increasing penalties for employers with more than 50 workers who don’t offer health insurance while also increasing Medicare taxes will hurt small businesses and hinder small business job growth.

She said Congress could have done better crafting a bipartisan bill that had the support of a strong majority of Americans.

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