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.

Full story

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

    yeah, heaven forbid this bill is paid for, and no taxing the rich won't pay for everything!

    I wonder if the same people who champion the fact the democrat party is a big tent and not monolithic will accuse the Blue Dogs of not being good loyal democrats.

    July 16, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  2. annie s

    I don't mind additional compromises if they make sense, but if these marginal Democrats block this vote, then I say let's block them. Vote them out!

    July 16, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. jaye

    These blue dogs will not be re-elected if they oppose health care....and neither will the republicans.

    July 16, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. Love Them Blue Dogs

    Thank God for the Blue Dogs! Someone on the Democrat side needs to show some common sense and fiscal restraint. Obama certainly hasn't, and we'll be paying for his mistakes for generations.

    July 16, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. Jim

    Try it, knuckleheads.

    We will remember those who tried to derail healthcare reform come the next election cycle, be they Democrat or Republican.

    July 16, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  6. Kathy Nesseth

    Everything I've heard about Cap & Trade and President Obama's healthcare bill will take us closer (fast) toward that of a socialist nation

    July 16, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  7. Larry

    That's what debates are for guys. Keep hashing it out.

    You've made more progress in health care reform in the past 4 months than anyone has in the past 20 years. Nice job!

    July 16, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. Anny

    And these Blue Dog Democrats will be shut out in their next election.....

    July 16, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  9. southerncousin

    I don't really care who gets the credit for blocking it, as long as someone does. These Obamatrons are out to punish working americans and reward the dope smoking Oprah watchers.

    July 16, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. Dogs

    IF they try to block this then they should know that they will not be re-elected and will be sent back to the pound where they belong. 70% of americans want this. It needs to pass and it needs to pass now. I went to school. I work. I am uninsured. I got laid off due to downsizing. I had to take a less than ideal job. My job does not offer insurance- they don't have to.

    July 16, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  11. Solomon

    If they want to get re-elected Blue Dogs are going to have to shut down healthcare and cap & trade. Obama's stock is falling with the failing stimulus & the car debacles and he is not going to be able to carry democrats in conservative districts in the next election. Believe me I have lived in 8 southern states and he could not do it right now. They cannot afford another unread bill jammed through or they will look as incompetent as Obama.

    July 16, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    As they should, the taxpayers (the 43 % of us that pay taxes ) can not afford an additional three trillion dollars of new spending. Unless you can reduce spending somewhere else this should not pass.
    There is plenty of fat in the budget that can produce the reduction needed to get health care for everyone. But without an equal amount of reduced spending this can not happen.

    July 16, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  13. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The Blue Dogs need to be specific about what they want changed in the bill. The bill has already conceded for the penalty on employers. I'd like to hear some genuine republican input on the matter.

    July 16, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  14. Obama 2.0

    Pelosi better step to the plate and address these issues.

    July 16, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  15. Shawn - GA

    They can not just shove the bill through, there is far too many unanswered questions. The fact that they want us all to just follow without details is beyond scary.

    What is even more scary however is that there is so many people who are saying "we need this" "stop feeding the fat cats"...etc However they have zero idea of what it is they are rallying behind. People need to stop for all of our sakes; they need to stop rushing to get behind things just because the window dressing is nice. Please educate yourselves on what you are supporting and who you are voting for. I am speaking to everyone this is not a Red vs. Blue.

    God Bless America, her people and her President

    July 16, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  16. Chris D.

    I respect their intentions....they should definely be compromised w/, as they're the only conservatives I respect these days.......However, if they are responsible for the destruction o this healthcare bill, they will not get re-elected.....unless they do a "Arlen Spector", and go to the other side.

    July 16, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. Steve (the real one)

    I see democrats don't march in lockstep after all! Good for them!

    July 16, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  18. Obama=disaster

    Yes, I certainly hope so! I want to believe there are some Democrats who have some common sense. The government can't run Medicare, what makes anyone think they can handle all the health care? Wake up people, you can't be a stupid as you pretend to be!!

    July 16, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. ender

    That's one of the things I like about the Democrats. They are diverse. There are many differing opinions. They are not lock step in their party like the republicans are.

    But.I cannot understand why conservatives in general always want everyone to do the work for them. They say they feel more savings can be found. Ok, I'll bite. Where can these savings be found? How? Do they have examples? What are their ideas? What do they base their declaration on? Why are there nothing but complaints with no ideas comming from conservatives in general besides "lower taxes and less government"?

    We're obviously open to negociation in the democratic party. So please, bring something to the table conservatives. Don't JUST complain. DO SOMETHING. We need IDEAS, not constant complaints.

    July 16, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  20. GI Joe

    I just saw an ad against healthcare reform that is knocking tax on sugar drinks. It says

    "Taxes don't make people healthy"

    I thought it to be strange, because when they raised taxes on tobacco products, it was to 'MAKE PEOPLE HEALTHY'.

    Which is it? Excessively fat people smell as bad as smokers, and they are probably not as healthy.

    July 16, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  21. Ron L

    The Health Bill needs to pass because Health care cost HAVE gotten out of control. The President is being conservative in saying it is going up double the rate of inflation for other items. I personally had mine go up twice 15% in 12 month periods before I was laid off. There has got to be a way to get the cost down to about $800 billion and yet keep the Public Option. Maybe they can put a few restrictions on the Public part that will make it a little more affordable AND LESS APPEALING TO THOSE THAT CAN AFFORD BETTER. This is a tough issue because everyone is willing to pay about anything to stay alive and yet most can't afford it.
    VERY, VERY, TOUGH issue.

    July 16, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. Dan Holiday

    Good for them. I hope they do. It would be a change from the other democrats. You know what? Here is an idea...how about be responsible for yourselves? Ever thought of that? Why is it that democrats think it is the governments duty to provide everything for them? Free health care, free mortgage relief, free this and that. Do you guys have any pride? I mean don't you feel bad mooching off of the system all of the time? It is embarrassing to read how all of you feel it is a right to have things handed to you. I guess you don't care since people with jobs actually are the ones having to pay for your sorry selves. Just a little F.Y.I. here...if you penalize success (tax) and promote failure (support with programs), your system will collapse. The people that actually create things and make money will leave and you will have to start providing for yourselves since the government will have no one to tax. Get a education, get a job, make money, provide for yourself and your family. That is the American way. Unlike your President's idiot wife I can honestly say I have always love this country. It is just in the past few years that I am beginning to despise it's wasteful, lazy, welfare attitude citizens. Either start acting like adults, or get out of my country. We don't need you here anymore ruining the lives of the citizens that take responsibility.

    July 16, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. Samuel

    Some fiscal responsibility with this new regime would certainly be a breath of fresh air in D.C. There is no question that the numbers being put out on this healthcare plan are much lower than what they actually will be. The spending habits of this new administration will cripple this country for a long time to come. How any voter would trust anyone in government to administer of all things your healthcare is beyond me. In the year 1900 the national debt was only a $ billion dollars. What is it today? $10 trillion, Come on America wise up and lets hold these politiicians to the same standard as American families and operate in the black.

    July 16, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. susie

    Will Congress have the same health insurance as the rest of us will have?

    July 16, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  25. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Who said that Democrats all voted all the time was completely wrong. If there are principles that hold Democrats together, they are currently a blurr.

    July 16, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
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