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July 29th, 2009
06:33 AM ET

"Blue Dogs" keep health bill in House

The Blue Dogs will remind you that without them the Democrats would not have a majority in the House.  Now 52 members strong, the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition is threatening to block President Obama's plans for health care reform, unless their demands are met.

They want to "bend the curve," as they call it, of health care costs - something they say the current leading proposals in the House don't do.  When I sat down for a lengthy interview with the Blue Dogs' point man on Health Care, Arkansas Democrat Mike Ross, I was surprised to learn one thing. He's been talking regularly with former President Clinton, who tried and failed to reform health care.

Ross and Clinton go way back.  Not only does Ross represent Hope, Arkansas - the former President's home town.  Ross was also Clinton's legislative assistant decades ago.  He may be standing in the way of current Democratic proposals on health care in the House.  But considering his history with Mr. Clinton, it's hard to see Ross dealing a fatal blow to reform.

Filed under: Health
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Frank

    Why isnt the American Public being told about a simple fix for alot of ailments. The use of Digestive enzymes as a daily supplement, It is not what you eat as much as how you digest what you eat. Doctors have to know this simple fact, You can eat all the fiber and veggies you want but if you are not digesting your food your body is not getting the nutrients it needs to live. Over half of the diseases that people in this country contract could be cured with Digestive Enzymes and doctors know this. If they were added to every food we eat there would be no need for a Public healthcare plan. Oh wait Digestive Enzymes are not a drug put out by drug companies so there is no Lobby for it.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  2. Chrissy

    I think theres abit of a scare going on regarding this Healthcare plan and where it will lead us in the end. Its not all about the money in my opinion, but the lack of information and facts that disturb me. There is a sense of panic here and for good reasons. I was alarmed at the urgency of President Obama to get this passed by the August recess. Its like he is trying to pull a fast one on us before we know all the facts, and who is going to pay for this beast. I am a single parent and have received Medicaid for myself and my daughter in the past, and have really not had any problems except in finding a doctor that accepts Medicaid and then waiting a long time to get into seeing him, sometimes resulting in going to the local ER for treatment. Imagine this scenario involving all Americans. I am thankful for these "Blue Dogs" as they serve as a good medium between both Democrats and Republicans. I think there should be some Healthcare reform, but not this thing thats circulating right now.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  3. Frank

    I have a statement on Healthcare reform. Will Disabled Veterans be able to drop their VA Healthcare if we are not satisfied with it and get Public Healthcare instead. I for one am sick and tired of the scocialized VA Healthcare and would love to try the scocialized Public healthcare. Also why isnt the news telling the American Public exactly How bad the VA Healthcare system is. I have been told for 5 years I cannot get tested for Charcot Marie Tooth syndrome because it cost too much and I am not worth it. I have been told there is no cure for this so we dont care to diagnose you. Many cancers are uncureable yet people are tested and diagnosed for it everyday. If you really want to know how bad American Public Healthcare will be dont ask someone from England or Canada, Instead ask a Disabled Veteran

    July 29, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  4. Dick Orenstein

    Why is it that some allocaiton or resources (rationing!) is in everything we do and is an important part of health care. Since when is everyone entitled to the very best healthcare money can buy? Particularly when it's my money for your health care? Rationing is always the case. Medicare doesn't pay for everything! Insurance doesn't pay for everything!

    If we're going to be honest with ourselves, how could it be otherwise??

    July 29, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  5. alexander

    You talk like the American people had free choice, they don't . You people should pick up a non fiction book by the dozens and dozens of political real American authors . See the supreme court rulings and the lower communist court rulings against you real Americans. Rulings that no news paper will tell you about because if they do they will never be invited to the many cocktail parties that cater to them to keep them in line with this horrible government that never stops lying and cheating the American public with that constant ,FOR THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA, Yes free choice till you read the good old fine print.Yes thoses good old boys will fix your medical plans, to make it better cheaper ? but no we will keep our government medical plan just for us good honest important needed GODS and family. HA.HA.

    July 29, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  6. Wren

    It may be hard to see him deal a fatal blow, but he is in the act of delivering it.

    So far this country has been lead to believe that with National Health Care they will lose their options and the Government will control it all. No one has taken time to even glean the thought that Medicare and Medicaid are both Government run as is Social Security. Yet Americans are more than happy to pay into and be taxed for that. This is along the same lines, save the people who decide will be a panel of Doctors. Unlike HMO's that have desk jockeys that know nothing about health that tell a Doctor who and when he can treat someone.

    It was not that long ago Americans were outraged at HMO's telling Americans when and if they needed test and or surgeries. People died, lost babies, limbs, sight and so on due to these desk jockeys and their unprofessional claims and diagnosis.

    As I have said before, American's are naive to being taxed (save the rich and corporations) the decades we have been told we would not be taxed and then got taxed to within an inch of our last breath. This is nothing new. It is time though that those that have more should pay a little bit more than those that have nothing (due to all the taxing they have paid in the past for themselves and the rich).

    This is one reason we are in the situation right now. The middle to lower class has been so taxed that they have nothing left, no money, food, home or health. Let the upper class for once pick up the cause, they have been given a golden pass for so long they should have enough money that it would not even make a dent in their spare piggy bank.

    The Blue Dogs need to stop trying to kiss up to both parties and start thinking of the million of Americans that have no help for their health. They show up no where because when the polls are done they are sick and dying at home, unable to go to the ER or the Doctors because they have no money and have no health insurance. Pills cannot count those that are not around.

    Unless this country wants to weed out America and reduce its numbers and unwanted? If that is the case then the Blue Dogs and other party are on the right path and doing a grand job of systematically killing off the select few without dirtying their hands.

    You know I can really see this being the case as over time the Government has become warped and stopped looking to the good of the people but looking to their own needs. They talk a good talk, but their actions say different, and in the end it is the actions that count when it comes to the care of the American people.

    July 29, 2009 at 7:44 am |
  7. Vernon

    At least this time the Obama/Rahm Gestapo cant waterboard their way to another bonehead Bill. Power to the Blue Dogs!

    July 29, 2009 at 7:20 am |
  8. Vernon

    Oh Waters, you said it so well. Now how does it feel?

    July 29, 2009 at 7:18 am |