(CNN) - A key member of a group of conservative House Democrats announced Tuesday that he will vote against a health care bill if it includes a government-run insurance option.
Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross, a leading member of the Blue Dog Coalition, called a public option the "wrong direction for health reform" and said he decided to oppose it after speaking with his constituents at home.
"If House leadership presents a final bill that contains a government-run public option, I will oppose it," Ross said in a statement. "I will also oppose any bill that provides federal funding for abortions or illegal immigrants and I will never vote for a bill that rations care for seniors or anyone else."
Ross is splitting from many of the liberal members of his party in Congress who have said they will oppose any bill that does not include a public option.
In July, Ross urged congressional leaders to slow down the pace of health care negotiations and said reform "needs to be done in a deliberate, bipartisan and common sense way."