July 16th, 2009
08:45 AM ET
9 years ago

'Blue Dog' Democrats may block health care bill

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A leader of the conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats told CNN Wednesday he and other group members may vote to block House Democrats' health care bill from passing a key committee if they don't get some of the changes they want.

"We remain opposed to the current bill, and we continue to meet several times a day to decide how we're going to proceed and what amendments we will be offering as Blue Dogs on the committees," said Rep. Mike Ross, D-Arkansas.

Ross said the bill unveiled Tuesday by House Democratic leaders did not address concerns he and other conservative Democrats outlined in a letter late last week to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The conservative Democrats don't believe the legislation contains sufficient reforms to control costs in the health care system and believe additional savings can be found. Their letter to leaders raised concerns about new mandates on small businesses. Blue Dogs also say the bill fails to fix the inequities in the current system for health care costs for rural doctors and hospitals.

The Energy and Commerce committee, along with two other House committees, is scheduled to take up the bill Thursday.

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Filed under: Congress • Democrats • Health care
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Samuel

    Fiscal responsibility with a [d] behind your name, it would be a true miracle.

    July 16, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. Fair is Fair

    It's true – a dog is man's best friend.

    July 16, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  3. Robin

    Thank you Blue Dogs for standing up and not selling out our country just because "Obama said it's okay."

    July 16, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. Kelby In Houston, TX

    I love my blue dog democratic brothers and sisters, The lord knows I do. But if they block this health care bill, I will begin campaigning against them.
    Obama was elected with a mandate of change and his primary oppostion is coming from within his own party. I know that we are running up deficits right now and it seems like spending is out of control. But extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures and what we are doing now is laying down a new foundation from which we can grow, bring down deficits reduce our spending and make sure that we never have something like this happen again.
    If these blue dog elected officials are not on board with the agenda. We as voters and all that support this agenda have a responsibility to put the people in office that are willing and able to move this agenda forward. The majority of Americans want Universal healthcare and we have the ways and means of doing it.

    July 16, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. sandy

    Here we go again. I ask these people if they can in good conscience put a price tag on life? This is sad that these people are standing in the way of this President. I hope their constituents remember this when elections come up again. I certainly will.

    July 16, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  6. Enough

    They have a right to be concerned and I am glad to see that someone is taking the time to address serious concerns, instead of just signing it and cramming it down our throats and hoping it works......................like the failed stimulus bill. We don't have to rush into a bad health care plan, doomsday won't come if it isn't signed tomorrow, despite Obamas scare tactics. Do you really want another Obama failed policy this early in a looooooooong 4 years?

    July 16, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. Great news......

    hopefully this socialist piece of legislation will go down the tubes along with its authors..

    July 16, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  8. We need a third party

    From controversial supreme court apointments, to billions of pork spending, to trillion dollar deficits, to partisan bailouts of Wall Street firms, to all too cozy contributions between leaders and lobbyists, it should be obvious to many that we need a strong independent party to emerge in this country to balance the radical views and programs of the Republicans and the Democrats. We desparately need some middle of the road politicians who are not beholden to any party and will not blindly vote a party line without even reading key elements of legislation pushed by party leadership. It is time for another American revolution, and this time it is needed to free us all from the tyranny that is the DNC and the GO – The two headed monster that is our two party system must go.

    July 16, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  9. Roger

    If the blue dog dems stop the health care plan I hope the democratic party gets someone to run against them in the next election & send the blue dogs packin...it is an opportuntity that we dems can not let get by us just because of a bunch of up tight concervatives blue dog or GOP...

    July 16, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. Tony - Fla

    It amazes me that the same party that preaches the Pro CHOICE will take away my right to CHOOSE. Even though I choose to have health insurance it is still MY CHOICE. Think about it people, you will be fined and/or taxed either way. I believe that we need to fix this ongoing problem but there are other ways of doing it. One thing they could start with is Tort Reform, putting an end to stupid law suits will lower physicians insurance cost and in turn lower cost to patients. How about lowering tuition cost for health care fields, do you not think that is not being passed on? How about Tax Credits for those who CHOOSE to stay in Primary Care. It seems to me that our elected officials are just stuck on stupid and instead of solving the problem they are acting like a bunch of lemmings. Problem is that they are willing to take us over the cliff with them.

    July 16, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. Kevin B

    Follow the the money and you will find that health insurance companies and big pharma companies are the main beneficiaries of the current broken American health care system.

    That is where you start when looking for more saving in the system. By making these entities pony up after sucking the American people dry for so long, a huge move can be made in covering all Americans.

    The problem is that these "blue dog democrats" and all republicans are in the pockets of the same enitities that have a vested interest in keepng Americans held hostage.

    July 16, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  12. Fla.

    I agree with a public option for healthcare reform, along with the majority in America, but I also have concerns over some provisions in the bill.

    Nothing is ever perfect in politics, and I understand the mandates were put into place to help balance budgets and extend affordable coverage.

    Overall, I'm still pleased with the ability to have a choice to stay with my current coverage or go with a public option, and that's what many Americans voted for this past election.

    July 16, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  13. Doug

    IF ALL PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYS HAD TO USE PUBLIC HEALTH CARE THE PROBLEM WOULD BE FIXED REAL QUICK! Cops to president all who work for the people should have the same health care as the people!!!!!!!!!

    July 16, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  14. Tami

    Please do. I think the Government needs to quit taking over every industry. Automakers, banks, mortgages.......What's next? Telephone and utility companies? We are starting to become like other nations

    July 16, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  15. yuri

    Blue dogs, eh? Are there any Red Dogs in the GOP? Everyone wants to cook the pizza pie of healthcare bill. Why do we get the feeling that they do not reflect the much larger interests of the people? Perhaps, the answer might be "Blue Dogs' Dogged Egos".

    July 16, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. Andrew, Buffalo NY

    Good for them! Once people realize the American dream isn't sacrificing 60% of the population to make the other 40% happy we will be better off!

    Can any liberal/DEM, please point out to me where the CONSTITUTION says HC is a right?

    Additionally, why is every right in this nation an OPTION, you have the right to own a gun, but aren't forced too, you have the right to vote, but dont' have too, you have the right to practice ANY organized religion, but don't have too. But according to Pelosi and her SS, HC is now a right and you HAVE TO HAVE IT!!

    July 16, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  17. RI moderate

    This is just another tax and spend plan. Before this administration is done taxes will increase significantly for the middle class. Health care benefits will be taxed, social security will be means tested (another tax), dividends we see in 401ks will be taxed, all in the name of this socialist agenda.

    There are ways to do this without having the government in charge of everything. The gov't should set the standard and set the rules and get the heck out of the way.

    July 16, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. Obama Victim

    wise Democrats.................don't see that very often..............congrats to them for bringing some sanity to this

    July 16, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. Zero.

    Barack Obama's fight for glory is over. Now he will go downhill fast..

    July 16, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  20. A. Goodwin

    I am completely ashamed of these blue-dog Dems. Not because they are not allowed to voice their opinion or disagree with the current health care bill. I'm ashamed because they are acting like Republicans – not really providing alternatives.

    It seems like they are worried about how it is going to get paid, and that is understandable. But truth is...we didn't sufficiently ask how the war will get paid or where the bailout for the banks were going to get their money (or at least didn't hold up the money because of it).

    American's need healthcare – no if's, and's or but's about it! We all need to step up to the plate and pay for this (and I'm privately insured). I would pay extra in my life to know the quality of life for others were increasing. Its my duty as an American to care not just about myself, but the community of individuals I share this country with. Its not alot, in my opinion.

    July 16, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. zack

    if this bill passes, i will have to lay off 10% of my workforce so i can afford to pay the new taxes i'll be charged.
    next to carbon cap and trade, this is yet another job killing bill to come out of Obama's administration and liberal dominated congress.

    July 16, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  22. gt

    mike ross needs to be speaker of the house .....we need more people like him ,,, some one who work with both side,,,, go mike !!!! go blue dogs !!!

    July 16, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. cramit

    With that and cap & tax ... we won't be able to buy the paper to print the money to not pay it with.

    July 16, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  24. B Evans

    WHAT?!?!? Someone in the Democratic party actually has the backbone to stand up for the American people and against the Great Savior...Maybe these Blue Dogs understand how much this Healthcare bill will hurt the middle class, self-employed business owners and adi the immigrant population who pay little to nothing and yet get all of the services. Tax the Rich, until there are no more and then tax the next level until they are gone....it is about time someone stood up and stopped this...Kennedy should go away, he hasn't paid a tax bill in years and has no clue on how much the people he is supposedly representing are hurting with all of the new government tax increases...1 Trillion dollars in debt in 6 mths...time for change I think.

    July 16, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
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