A lot of things to keep in mind with the vote today. The big deal was that Olympia Snowe voted yes. Some people are worried about this. To them I say:
She's irrelevant. The bill passed 14-9. It would have passed 13-10 without her. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
#1 - The bill was going to pass anyways.
#2 - Pro-reform groups have been targeting Snowe with ad campaigns in her state. Her ratings are already taking a hit. She has nothing to gain from being a "no" vote on a losing bill, but she does have cred among her constitutuents to gain by voting "yes."
#3 - The GOP are still lost in the woods. Their brand is taking a major beating from obstructing health care reform. Their ratings have taken huge blows, and considering they can't even filibuster a united Dem block in the Senate, their obstructionism is ultimately pointless. A "yes" vote by Snowe keeps the GOP relevant (no, it doesn't, but to them it does).
Ultimately, Snowe is hoping to gain power from this. However, all she's doing is desperately trying to prevent herself from sliding into irrelevance. On top of that, the Democrats have been pushing bipartisanship for months (to the point where polls show the general public upset with Republicans for obstructionism and hoping the Dems will push it through without Republican help) and she's hoping to jump on that. But it's too little too late.
The Democrats don't need her, and we certainly don't WANT her form of "compromise," trigger, warts and all.
It's a last gambit, but we're better than that. Remind your Congressperson today when you give them a call.