Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Blue Dog Mike Ross In “Key Talks” With Republican On Health Reform

Holy crap, how is man even a Democrat anymore?

Rep. Mike Ross, who flip-flopped on the public option and has authored an amendment that seems like a copycat of Max Baucus's no-good, terribly bad bill, has been in secretive talks with a Republican, Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), for weeks. Guess what? Rep. Boustany's the one that's scheduled to give the GOP address to President Obama's speech tonight. Here's an excerpt from the story below:

A lead Democratic healthcare negotiator has been keeping a back channel open to a key Republican in the hopes of forging a bipartisan health reform alternative that could potentially cripple plans to pass a House bill with a public option.

According to GOP sources, Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), who was the lead negotiator for the conservative Blue Dog Democrats during the markup of the Energy and Commerce portion of the healthcare bill, has been in talks with Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La.) in an effort to find “workable solutions” to the healthcare stalemate that could “win broad bipartisan support.”

Of course Rep. Mike Ross's press flack denies the past meetings with Rep. Boustany, and only admits to the meeting with Rep. Boustany today on the eve of President Obama's speech:

Brad Howard, spokesman for Ross, stated in an e-mail on Wednesday: “Per Congressman Boustany’s request from several weeks ago, Congressman Ross did meet with him this afternoon, as Congressman Ross meets with any Member who requests to do so. Today’s meeting was the first and only meeting between the two Members and no future meetings are scheduled. There are no secret meetings about a possible health care alternative proposal with Republicans and Congressman Ross is not working to create an alternative health care proposal. Any reports to the contrary are flat-out wrong.”

What bipartisanship means in this instance for Rep. Ross is agreeing to Republican ideas like those of Rep. Charles Boustany, and killing off great Democratic ideas like the public option, which has popular support in Blue Dog congressional districts.

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