Seducing Olympia Snowe: The Key to Health Reform

The most important health-care bill in Congress bears the stamp of Maine's senior Republican Senator. But will she actually vote for it?

Doug Mills / The New York Times / Redux

Quiz time: Which of the following provisions has been tucked into the most closely watched health-care bill on Capitol Hill thanks to Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine? Is it a) an annual checkup for every Medicare beneficiary, b) a special health-insurance marketplace in every state that would cater to the needs of small businesses or c) new tax credits to help modest-size firms buy coverage for their workers?

The answer is all of the above. As the only Republican on the Finance Committee still in talks with Democrats on a final...

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