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."