July 29th, 2009
02:30 PM ET
12 years ago

House Dem on Blue Dogs: 'Not everybody is on the same page'

(CNN) - House Democratic leaders and some members of the conservative Blue Dog Coalition might be happy with a deal that allows health care reform legislation to move forward, but some of their fellow Democrats remain skeptical and others openly reject the proposal.

"I cringe at the word 'deal.' It sounds back room," said Rep. Lois Capps, a member of the liberal New Democrat Coalition/Caucus who has also been that group's liaison during the ongoing negotiations.

Capps said she and other progressives on the House Energy & Commerce Committee need to look at the details of the plan before getting behind it.

Another member of the Energy and Commerce Committee who is also part of the Blue Dog Coalition, Rep. Charlie Melancon of Louisiana, is one of the three Blue Dog Democrats on that panel who did not sign onto the agreement.

"It was not a conscious split. If we were doing it as a group, the easiest thing for us all to do is to say yes or no. But that wasn't what it was about," Melancon told reporters off the House floor. "We all have to deal with our own politics, our own constituency. We just happen to be labeled by the press as the 'Blue Dog coalition.' If you poll the Blue Dog coalition individually and separately, you'll find that not everybody is on the same page and there is no position collectively."

Melancon pointed to the agreement's high cost, estimated to be near $900 billion, and his assessment that it would add too much to the deficit in future years as reasons for withholding his support.

"The bill coming out of the Finance Committee on the Senate side is more to the liking of a person like me... When they are talking about it in the tenth year it will start paying for itself and reducing the deficit, rather than what we've seeing as an explosion in the out years [of the House bill]. Those are things that I think attract me to what they are doing over there."

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. TCM

    yeah...like the 85% of Americans who are satisfied with their healthcare, and don't want to have to have the country pander to the 15%....out of the 15%, probably only 5% are hardluck cases, and the rest are illegals or welfare recipients already; never having an inkling to get off their butts and work.....CONGRESS had better listen to the people...all 85% of us, who don't want you screwing with out lives....

    July 29, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. PJ

    Melancon was right. He does have to deal with his own consituency. He'd better think twice about his deal making. All the people I know in Louisiana think our health care does need some minor tweaks, but this massive overhaul is outragious.

    July 29, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. Jimmy the Greek

    Any "Government Healthcare" plan should be FULLY PAID by individual premiums!!

    Tax-payers should NOT foot the bill for this boondoggle (most of us will ALREADY be paying for our own health insurance).

    Obama and liberals assault "For Profit" insurance companies. HELLOOOOOO... if you don't make a profit ... you go bankrupt... you know – the same thing happening in Washington DC??

    July 29, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Gary

    No new taxes!
    No free healthcare give aways!
    No increase in the deficit!
    No government insurance option!

    Then what is a reasonable plan?:

    1. Major malpractice reform.
    2. Train more doctors/nurses/physical therapists to bring labor costs down.
    3. Shorten the patent life on drugs by 2 years to bring drug prices down.
    4. Require full time work as a prerequisite for participating in any healthcare – – if there are no jobs to be had then require 40 hours of volunteer work. We are sick of freeloaders not working and demanding free care.
    5. Offer a tax incentive to insurance companies that do not restrict based on pre-existing conditions.
    6. No new taxes for anyone.
    7. Offer student loan repayment programs to get more doctors to go into primary care (where the need is the greatest).

    July 29, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  5. carol

    GEE ......... GONE TO THE DOG's –
    What evera happened to the " BIG REG DOG ?
    Now we got BLUE DOGS ?
    Really – what is this government coming to ?
    This is HOW ? they ? ( our politicians) come to terms on our health care?
    Are these really the people we want deciding our laws ? running our government ?

    These are OUR politicians? WAKE UP AMERICA. HAVEN'T WE HAD ENOUGH ? We are already BANKRUPT ! Do we want to be in the sewer too ?

    July 29, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. jaye

    The blue dogs will not be re-elected.

    July 29, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. Larry

    Politicians need to know the whole country is watching how they vote on this very important bill.

    46 million Americans have no health care; it's safe to say the majority of the rest is tired of getting ripped off by insurance companies after they pay their premiums.

    We've waited too long for health care reform. This is the most important bill to go thru congress in a long time.

    July 29, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. Angus McDugan

    Thank goodness. That is how you have intelegent debate. If all opinions were the same then there would not be much need for representation on the hill.

    July 29, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. Melissa

    The only "deal" the Blue Dogs have made is for themselves, not for everyone else. When they give us National Health Care, I'll consider it a done deal. Until then, nothing else flies.

    July 29, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Sam Sixpack

    If we don't hurry up and pass this thing, the lies, lies, lies, lies, lies could all unravel.

    Who doesn't want to be required to pay all they can "afford" (to be decided by Nancy and Joe) to fat, greedy, rich people (a.k.a. big insurance companies), be taxed on the forced contribution and then have their coverage denied if and when they actually need it?

    Those pesky Republicans are dragging their feet and ruining everything — again.

    July 29, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  11. phoenix86

    Vote them out. All of them. This was a vote to reduce medical R&D, ration healthcare, and elminate individual choice.

    The only way any compromise could have been reached is if the congressmen didn't read the bill in the first place.

    A shamefull day for America.

    July 29, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. The Constitutionalist

    Maybe they're not on the same page because none of them (R and D) have read or understand what the federal govt's role/powers are as defined by the Constitution.

    Just a thought.

    July 29, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. Evelyn

    Too many Insurance, Pharmaceutical & AMA folks lobbying against any reform with Health Care is happening in this country.

    Healthy older folks, who do not take drugs, exercise daily, eat healthy fruit & veggie diets, still get their Insurance monthly premium costs increased, just because of their age.

    I know that for sure, I'm one of those elderly people.
    It has happened to me!

    This is where the Reform needs to start.

    July 29, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  14. Jack

    No one is sure whether Obama's plan will cost anything – its just a projection – it might save a trillion dollars.

    The Toronto newspaper did a study and they found that if we implemented the Canadian system it would provide full coverage and save us a trillion dollars.

    July 29, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Once You Vote Black

    Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana slammed fellow Republican George Voinovich. The Dems are not the only ones who are fighting each other. Like all others, every dog, even the blue, has his day.

    July 29, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. Obama=Trickle up Poverty

    Don't cave Blue Dogs! we are counting on the Blue dogs to do the right thing and not support this lousy health care proposal.

    July 29, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. Al Smith

    I doubt that EVERY democrat is on the same page.

    This health care should not even be an issue.

    22 million of the 40 million people UNinsured are ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS!!! That leave 18 million people without insurance.

    There are 319 million people in the U.S. and 18 million do not have insuance. That is 6% of the United states

    HOWEVER, they still receive medical treatment they need to live.

    The unemployment rate should be more concerning to the democrats since its upwards of 9% and on the steady rise...

    July 29, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. Obama only creates TAXES

    Obama's getting his way, NEW TAXES ON YOUR HEALTH CARE, slowly turning America into the;
    Obama Socialistic Republic Of Government Supported People,

    Good Bye to the American Dream.

    July 29, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  19. Vic of New York

    Whatever.... But the bottom lie is that these "blue dog" Democrats had better get in line with a Bill that supports a single-payer or Public option – or they will find one mighty big blue boot flying up their collective blue behinds come next election.

    July 29, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. Zero.

    Barack Obama is a "Greatfruit" for all your help with Healthcare..

    July 29, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Another member of the Energy and Commerce Committee who is also part of the Blue Dog Coalition, Rep. Charlie Melancon of Louisiana, is one of the three Blue Dog Democrats on that panel who did not sign onto the agreement.

    And I bet Charlie Melancon is not for the Pubic option as well just wants to hold up everything to keep his set any Congress. Hey, just on the Repubicans side all ready.

    July 29, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  22. Polar Bears Against Palin

    This bill WILL be watered down crap.

    July 29, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. Politics In Washington??

    Gambling in the Casino, how shocking. Politics at the Capitol, how, well, American. Get real kids. You don't get perfect. You don't get it all your way, not all the time, not most of the time. Making deals are what getting along and staying stable are all about. That is why this government has lasted as long as it has and if, like some South American Dictator, you want to back yourself up against the wall and demand that it be your way or you will revolt, then you have revolution on a regular basis. No, let us American make deals which means that we find a way to include those who do not totally agree but can agree in part here and there and determine that it is better to have something than to either get nothing–which we have had on health care since 1935–or something that has not everything but something for not all but at least for most.

    July 29, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. dominican mama 4 Obama

    "If you poll the Blue Dog coalition individually and separately, you'll find that not everybody is on the same page"

    And that is THE problem Charlie. If there is one thing that Democrats can learn from Republiklans it is to STICK TOGETHER and STICK TO THE PROGRAM. It would work out better, and look so much better than what you've got going on now. The Repuliklans are imploding, but I gotta respect the fact that they stick to their guns. You boys need to find some homeboys to teach you how to fight cause you're acting like collective pussies hanging your President out to dry by not supporting him.


    July 29, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  25. mattd

    The congress refuses to listen to the american public. They will do and say what they want to push through their own agenda. I wish it was 2012 so change would be comming.

    July 29, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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