Talking Points Memo is among those live-blogging the Senate Finance Committee deliberations on health legislation. Sen. Blanche Lincoln is about to ask a question or make a comment as I post this. Here's a summary (she's on board):
Lincoln says that the bill achieves her "principle" goal of lowering costs. "This legislaiton contains provisions that I've worked on for many years with my colleagues...there is no doubt in my mind that the cost of doing nothing is simply too high."
Lincoln lays out a warning. "My support here does not [ensure] my support for the final product," she says. If the final bill doesn't control costs, protect seniors, etc., she reserves the right to vote against it.
It appears, by the way, that the bill has been sufficiently watered down to also enlist one Republican, Sen. Olympia Snowe. Like Lincoln, she made a point not to commit beyond today's committee vote.
UPDATE: The bill came out of committee on a party line vote save for Snowe's with the Democrats.
Here's the NY Times update. Now the fun really begins. Will the legislation get better or worse as do-nothing Republicans, the greedy lobbies and utopians who believe in universal coverage fight over the specifics?