July 24th, 2009
12:07 PM ET
9 years ago

Key conservative Democrat urges health care slowdown

Rep. Mike Ross said Friday he wants a slowdown on health care reform.

Rep. Mike Ross said Friday he wants a slowdown on health care reform.

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."

Filed under: Health care • Mike Ross
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Blue Dog Democrats - Get Rid of THEM

    Why can't these Blue Dog Democrats come up w/any viable resolutions to make this Health Care Plan successful? Democrats now have the majority and what are they doing with that power – "nothing but in fighting". If President Obama's Health Care Plan doesn't pass – EVERY Democrat who voted against the plan should be DEFEATED in their next elections. This is ridiculous!!

    July 24, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. Common_Sense

    Can someone explain how anyone could criticize this guy for saying that he doesn't want to rush this and make sure they get it right? After all, it won't go into effect immediately anyway, so why not take the time to do it right and not just throw a bunch of garbage in there that we will have to live with forever. They are talking about transforming an entire industry. It certainly isn't something that should be ushed if not ready. It effects the lives of every person in this country. Don't you folks want to make sure they do the right thing?

    July 24, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. Bob in Pa

    This whole topic need to be taken offline for a year or two.

    July 24, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. Bob in Pa

    I want a 2 story 4 bedroom house too, but I can't afford it right now. I might be able to afford the preverbal double-wide if this gets passed.

    July 24, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |

    Take their Tax payer paid Heath Care away until they pass a bill to cover all AMERICANS. And see how fast it gets done.

    July 24, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. Mike in MN

    The Blue Dogs are right and the majority of Americans agree with them. The majority of Americans are center right.
    Obama and Pelosi are pushing far left liberal policy. Obama got elected becasue he convinced enough moderates that he was a centerist. He is not. His record in the Senate demonstrats he is very liberal.
    Now he is stuck. He wants to govern as a liberal, but still try and fool moderats he is a centerist. The legislation he pushs says he is a liberal like he always has been. The fooling phase is over, no one is buying it anymore.
    If Obama and Pelosi are able to get Blue Dogs to vote for liberal policies, the Blue Dogs will be defeated by more conservative Republicans in 2010. The Republicans would most likely take back the House and maybe the Senate.
    If the Blue Dogs stand firm and Obama does not move to the center. Nothing will get done and Obama is toast.
    By pretending he was something he was not Obama got elected, but he also painted himself into a corner.
    When this happend to Clinton he moved to the center, got things done and got relected. What will Obama choose?

    July 24, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. alvino

    Mike should do a Comcast Commericial with the "Slowsky's." Things are moving too fast for him, and he wants it slowed down. Harry Truman wanted this done 60 years ago, and Ross thinks it is going too fast.

    I wonder if anyone in Arkansas is without health care.

    July 24, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  8. Ken in NC

    I agree that we need to slow down and debate this health care issue. Besides, it has only been 61 years that this has been coming up after every election.

    July 24, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. faithful democrat/jacksonville

    The point is; either you're going to vote on the bill or not. What it's to stall the time that President Obama would like to get this reform in action the reason for delay? Why after August recess? You congress men and women are the problem. Just remember your seat is not guaranteed if the people do not vote you in. So think about what you are doing to people who do not have health insurance. It could be a thin line between life and death. Shame on all of you people in congress. I will keep in mind, the senators who vote against this bill and the ones who caused the delay. They (congress) are always finding a reason to complaint about something. What will be the reason the next time no health care is out there for many people? If they are concern about bankruptcy the country; then cut their paycheck to half. Use that monies toward healthcare because they do not deserve the pay they're recieving.

    July 24, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. Anne

    Members of Congress who are dragging their feet on health care legislation should have their own health insurance suspended until the bill is passed with coverage for all. Then we will truly see if it needs to slow down.

    July 24, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. J Smith

    It shouldn't be a hurry and rush deal, but all the special interests are having too much sway over actually helping people. obama's idea of allowing people to choose their insurance, including a public option if no others are competitive enough, is a decent one. if anyone has better ideas they should start talking about them.

    July 24, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. pet

    So, most of you people who think that only the rich are going to pay for this are really not paying attention. It only makes up for part of it. Plus most of the 45 million they say are uninsured chose not to have it. The second like say 11 million are illegal immergrants who wont pay anyway. So if you like this you are so far left like the rest of the dems it is disgusting. I see no where in the Constitution that health care is a right.

    July 24, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. Nuetral

    I HAVE HEALTH CARE THAT I ALONG WITH MY EMPLOYER PAY FOR, I LIKE IT, I DONT WANT TO LOSE IT IN 5 YEARS AS WRITTEN IN THIS BILL, I agree heathcare needs to be changed, it should not be free to anyone!! Everyone needs to pay, no need to ram it down our throats like the stimulus...

    July 24, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. Mike

    Paul in FL.
    Right on Paul. I agree, why is it that, in theory, we're supposed to be the wealthiest country in the world, yet we have so many of our own citizens having to put up with the worst health care in the world? Did anyone hear Farrah Fawcett before her death state that she didn't understand why she had to fly to Germany to get treatment?

    The answer....MONEY. Money will be the ultimate decider of what happens. Let's not think for one minute we'll see a cure for cancer or any other disease for that matter. Why would the health care industry and the pharmaceutical industry come up with the cure? That would mean their well would run dry. No, they keep us alive with their "treatments". There is no money in a cure.

    Wake up people. We deserve top notch health care in this country that is affordable. My premiums are close to $700.00 per month. Is that fair to me when all the politicians get their's for free? Let's get it done...but done right.

    July 24, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  15. Pete East

    The left wing of the Democratic party need not worry about the Blue Dog coalition. Just keep blaming the Republicans. That's what really makes your day; yes?

    July 24, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. Penny - Canada

    Wait? Slow down?

    Don't these politicians understand that on top of:
    (1) the huge number of uninsured who are suffering,
    (2) the effect of uninsured people going to emergency in hospitals,
    (3) the growing number of people losing their coverage,
    (4) the numbers who cannot afford it anymore,
    (5) the numbers who are being bankrupted by illness,
    (6) the chronic health problems already in existence,
    (7) and the greed of corporate interests involved in health industries,

    that the H1N1 SWINE FLU is going to devastate everyone starting this fall (if not sooner), especially when all those with "pre-existing" conditions (like poverty-induced illness and neglected illness)

    (a) cannot afford the vaccine
    and (b) require emergency and complex hospital care?

    Or are these people "Social Darwinists", perfectly ready to let the poor and ill die as part of the "survival of the fittest, like in Katrina?

    July 24, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Kevin

    The Democratic Party sucks. They can't stand up for anything. This health care debate is not a debate. We have 60 Democrats in the Senate and even more in the house. If those week people go on vacation in the middle of this project....THERE WILL BE NO HEALTH CARE.

    Obama and the Democratic party lied all last year about this topic.

    July 24, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. andy

    how about congress gives up their insurance until they pass a bill?

    July 24, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. andy

    for everybody who shouts "it's a government takeover!", would they like to see medicare eliminated? how about public schools? roads?

    July 24, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. No more GOP!

    Im form Ross' home district. Come next election, hes outta there. Thats for sure!

    July 24, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. b

    The people that are unemployed due to their own reasons, not by being layed off, or by businesses going under...are these people entitled to free healthcare, or should the hard working people like myself have to cut back on food and or other necessities to pay for their coverage???

    July 24, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. Working Class American

    I think that Gregory Rose, the young man in the ticker story before this who has leukemia and no health insurance, should be invited to capital hill so these cowards can tell him to his face why they think that health care reform should be slowed down! Tell him to his face how we shouldn't "rush it"!

    July 24, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  23. Zero.

    If most of the Fast Foods, went out of business. It would be a good thing. Kids wouldn't be eating so much Junk food. Minimum wage?
    And all you talk about is This Heath Bill..

    July 24, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. Kate

    Let's take away the gov't healthcare and full pensions after one term that US Senators and Representatives receive. Then let's ask them to design a program for all of us to have the same plan together. How long would that take to accomplish?

    People are complaining about the costs for a one-payer plan. Do you not realize that we are paying for those without health insurance every month, in our taxes, in our medical costs and in our prescription costs. If everyone was covered, the costs would be shared more equally.

    I have known many people who have gone bankrupt from medical bills – good people who just had a catastrophic illness and couldn't pay those huge bills. If the gov't can run Medicare for older people, then surely it could run a new plan for all of us. Let's have a one payer system like other great industrialized countries. It's time!!!

    July 24, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  25. Lauren

    I heard the president's town hall meeting yesterday. He answered a question about the August deadline. His response was that the August deadline does not mean that health care will be settled, it means that this is the first step of many in the process.

    Those opposed to health care reform would have people believe it will be a done deal in August, but as the president stated, step one is to vote on the bill, step two is to reconcile the House Bill with the Senate Bill, step three will be to phase in the reforms. The president said it is not like we will wake up after the vote in August and find that everyone has health care, it is a process that must go through certain steps.

    July 24, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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