Maine’s two U.S. senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, spoke on the Senate floor this afternoon to call for changes in the new health reform law and a package of final details that has yet to be approved by the Senate.

Snowe and Collins joined other Republican senators criticizing elements of the law and calling for amendments that would force another up or down vote on the entire measure. Democratic senators are expected to oppose amendments now to keep the reform from unraveling.

Snowe, who negotiated an early version of the reform plan as a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, said the final law includes too many new taxes and costs that could harm businesses. And it lacks any concrete cost controls to contain runaway premiums, she said.

Collins criticized the new law and the pending ‘reconciliation bill for penalizing employers of more than 50 workers with “job-killing fines” at a time when Congress should be encouraging them to hire more employees. She proposed an amendment waiving the penalties when a company hires someone who was unemployed.
 


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