Sen. Susan Collins (R, ME) rejects trigger for ‘public option.’

(via @seanhackbarth) For the very commonsense reason that you can’t trust the people who would be pulling the trigger. No, really: that’s what she said.

A moderate Republican who has previously broken with her party to support President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus bill said Sunday that she does not support the idea of using a so called “trigger” on the public health insurance option as part of health care reform legislation.

Asked on CNN’s State of the Union if the use of the trigger would make inclusion of the public option more acceptable, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, unequivocally replied “no.”

“The problem with trigger is it just delays the public option,” Collins told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, “because the people who are going to be making the determination about whether the market is competitive enough, want the public option.”

Note that this doesn’t mean that Sen. Olympia Snowe is going to take the same position (although it doesn’t mean that she’ll be taking a different one, either); but Sen. Collins’ position on this does make it clear that the ‘public trigger’ scenario for a government option in health care is not actually bipartisan. Please also note that Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D, NH) apparently needed only eight months as a Senator to forget how to answer straightforward questions in a straightforward manner:

New Hampshire Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen refused to answer directly when asked whether Collins’ position indicated that President Obama should either not fight for inclusion of the public option in the final bill or, alternatively, pursue a legislative strategy that relied solely on Democratic votes for health care reform.

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