Snowe: Health Care Bill A 'good Place To Start'

Sen. Olympia Snowe, the only Republican who voted to advance the Finance Committee's health care bill, said Wednesday she believes "the time has come to grapple with this issue that has eluded us for decades."

"I thought this was a good place to start," the Maine senator said in a nationally broadcast interview a day after she joined 13 Democrats on the panel in voting to push forward the bill fashioned under the leadership of Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.

Snowe said there were elements of the bill she still opposes, but she said that "we can't postpone the inevitable." She said her constituents in Maine "want me to do what's right for the country and the state."

Snowe, who lost her parents to illness at a relatively young age, said she believes something has to be done to improve the health care delivery system. "I have had those losses in my life," she said, adding that she can't imagine the stress of people living with the specter of serious illness and no health insurance to cover the costs of care.