WASHINGTON (CNN) - A leader of an influential group of conservative House Democrats urged congressional leaders to slow the pace of health care deliberations Friday.
Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross, a key member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog coalition, said he remains concerned that the legislation currently being pushed through Congress does not do enough to rein in spiraling medical costs.
Ross' comments came a day after the top Democrat in the U.S. Senate said the chamber won't vote on a health care reform bill until after the upcoming August recess.
The announcement by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada went against President Barack Obama's stated timetable for both the House and Senate to turn out bills by the August break.
Obama is slated to discuss health care Friday in a meeting with Reid and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana.
"This is fundamental change that's going to effect all 300 million people in America," Ross said on CNN's "American Morning."
"Let's not rush it. Let's slow down. Let's get it right and ensure that the American people get the kind of health care that they need and deserve."
The bill as currently drafted "doesn't do nearly enough to contain those costs (and) get after the kind of fundamental reforms and changes that we need in how we deliver and pay for health care," he said.
Ross complained that this is "a bill that's supposed to be about containing costs, and yet we're still waiting (to learn) the cost for the current House bill. (It's) like asking us to balance the budget when we don't know what the budget is. And so we need to slow down."
The first and most important item on the health care issue that needs to pass is one that makes sure ALL CITIZENS are first in line for at least some form of preventative health care. Preventative health care is what we all need. This way the little problems do not become major healt issues in the long run!
I'm beginning to feel like the biggest problem with the Congress is Pelosi. She may single handedly sink health-care reform with her hard pressing behaviour. I'm sure everybody would band together at some point if she would stop acting crazy. She needs to be removed.
plain and simple....let's get rid of those blue dogs.....after all what an insult to the dogs
Mike Ross wants to slow down health care reform the way presciption meds slowed down Michael Jackson.
Mike Ross is the modern-day Jesse Helms of American politics. A one-man health care obstructionist with no ideas on how to improve health care reform. I guess all his ultra-wealthy constituents in rural Southwest Arkansas don't need reduced health care costs and expanded access.
Mike Ross loves to protect the special interests who want to block any reform.
It sounds like these Blue Dogs have legittimate concerns about finding more savings. I'm cool with that. I'm not cool with the noton that some in Congress are ready to skip town before we get some kind of concensus. If a slow down is necessary, then so be it. But don't get the idea that we you guys come back from recess that this issue will be pushed to the backburner.
It's time that these 'Dogs' were neutered.
Health care reform, now obama is calling it health care insurance,do you mean nationalizing every part of the private sector like the banks, auto industry [Government motors] and he is trying to take over the energy sector.
You are the biggest loser [Socialist] this counrty has ever seen.
I like these Blue Dog Democrats. My greatest argument with traditional Democrats is their ignorance of economic forces.
For instance, Obama said one of the main drivers for lowering health insurance costs with ObamaCare would be adding competition to the existing insurers. I doubt that! Effective competition,,,the kind that results in lower costs starts with a level playing field. How does he consider taxpayer funded care a level playing field? That's not how competition works. This will be an expensive lesson for all of us.
I am an agreement with slowing it down until after reset, but not to kill the bill. American People are really watching all you up their in Washington and we expect a Pubic Heath Care Opition which will be a real reform.
Its been 60 years how much slower can it get.
Arkansas. 'Nuff said. I mean, look at the chronology:
Yesterday: Reid says no vote before August recess and Obama says not getting a vote before the August recess is ok because we admittedly need to get it right, not just done.
Today: Little Mikey Ross holds a press coneference to pretend we're still "rushing" it in order to pander to the portion of his constituents who might be getting all scared by the GOP's nonsensical rhetoric.
There's no substance here.
I agree please do slow down but let's also face it, not everyone is going to vote for this thing. At the same time some in that group will not want to change anything and keep the status quo. I say as long as we get it done by the end of the year, then I am ok with it.
And who said all Democrats are stupid? Finally some who are not lemmings following Obama over the economic cliff. Most people do not want this bill as it exists, it will destroy our economy and ruin our medical care. Health care does need major reform but not this way. First TORT REFORM then stop insuring illegal aliens, according to our laws, they are criminals. Next we can work on the remaining problems (if any) after we take care of these.
In effect, once again, letting insurance companies kill the reform effort. Only difference is, this time, there is no time to waste. The next possible opportunity will be 4 years from now. I do blame the Republicans for this and ehre is why. At the very beginning of this Administration they had a decision to make and they chose 1005 obstruction; even admitted it. They knew that would mkae Obama have to try and please too large of a chunk of the political left, so then they could say he was "so far left." I admit, it was a good strategy and will probably work. Once again, however, the country loses. I resent that.
I'm sure that if it was one of their family members who needed the medical insurance, all the GOP and conservative Dems would vote for it right away. But since they have great insurance and make great money, there is no incentive for them. Maybe the people of their states should bombard them with emails and letters saying we NEED the insurance reform – let them realize that the people of Ark, S. C., Texas, etc is not doing as well as them!
Wow common sense
These conservative Democrats are really republicans in sheeps clothing! They are no better and hopefully will not get re elected! They are not what the Democrats voted for and they do not belong in the Democratic party if they can't do what 73% of this country wants which is to support health care reform NOW!
I'm just sick and tired of these "blue dog democrats" running their mouths to get 2 minutes of fame. If health care reform is going to fast for you Rep Ross, go to work and discuss issues with your fellow members of congress, tell them what it is that concerns you and suggest solutions. Stop whining infront of the cameras – it's unbecoming and not very helpful.
This guy's only concerned about the tax increases that are going to be levied on the Multi Billionaire children of Sam Walton if this bill is enacted. The people in his state are going to be affected adversely by his stalling and he should be voted out of office.
Some of these democrats need to be defeated in 2010 for them to see the political sense that they were elected to see to the people's interests and not to cave in to the interests of big insurance, big pharma, big business etc.
How much slower can it go? We have needed this for 16 years and every time they want to slow down. It seems like stopping the process is more accurate description. I know for sure going on vacation is not the answer.
We've had a slowdown on universal health care for more years than I care to count. I think we should think about a speed up.
Has any of the D.C. genius' studied the program in Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Sweden, etc. to see what works?
The morons that say we can't afford universal health care think nothing of wasting more than $1 trillion in Iraq and providing themselves with the best health care money can buy. Let them get their health care through an HMO and they will get a plan very quickly.
Go Blue dogs!! We support you to take your time and do it right. Don't give in to pressure to support a bad bill. We need more middle of the road people on our side. Time for a new party that is in the center for common sense.
This person is obviously a Republican plant, because we have been told by Pelosi, Rahm, Obamadork, and the DNC that all Democrats will support this. And they NEVER lie, right?
Sorry libs you don't even control the dem party anymore.