House Democrats’ health care bill has been delayed indefinitely as leaders continue negotiations with fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats.Committee chairmen had planned to release their bill on Friday and begin marking it up on Monday, but notices were sent out this morning noting that both the release and markup would be delayed.Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), who chairs the Blue Dogs’ health care task force, warned leadership in a two-hour meeting Thursday night that his group would bolt unless a series of demands were met, including altering reimbursement rates under a proposed public option so that they are not based on Medicare rates.
Folks, this is a serious threat. Because there is little chance the 178 Republicans in the House will vote for any form of health care reform (let alone single-payer or a public option) the 40 Blue Dogs opposing a strong public option know they can join their ranks and derail the entire bill.
Think about that for a second. Democrats - the folks we worked hard to get into office last year - are threatening to join in with House Republicans - a group so out of touch with the basic needs of all Americans, that they don't even think food is a basic human right.
Watch at about 3:00 in:
We can't let them get away with this.
We have three Blue Dog Democrats right here in California who signed on to join forces with Republicans against health care reform. We need to let them know that this is unacceptable.
Call them now. Tell them that Health Care is a basic human right. And that we will settle for nothing less than a strong public option that's available to ALL Americans on Day One, accountable to Congress, and which can bargain for lower rates with drug companies and providers.
Joe Baca (CA-43)
Dennis Cardoza (CA-18)
Jim Costa (CA-20)
*Great news! Rep. Adam Schiff is now on record as supporting a public option! A statement from his office:
Rep. Schiff has favored a robust public option for some time now, and in fact, has written House leadership to express his support for the inclusion of a public option which has access to the Medicare provider network. Rep. Schiff believes that a strong public option will provide significant cost-savings and is an essential piece of any comprehensive health care reform bill.