Blue Dogs Get Their Way, Progressives See Red
Posted on Jul 29, 2009
House Democrats have caved to the rebellious Blue Dogs and agreed to make the health care reform bill friendlier to business at the expense of the poor. Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Lynn Woolsey wasn’t happy: “I think they have no idea how many people are against this. They can’t possibly be taking us seriously if they’re going to bring this forward.”
Not only did the Dogs get their way, they can come back and push for even more, as the AP explains: “The Blue Dogs did not commit themselves to doing anything when the full House votes in several weeks. They could support the bill or, once again, oppose it en masse and hold it hostage to new demands.”
Below is a short summary of what the deal entails and what the rest of the party hopes to get out of it.
AP via Google:
The deal calls for exempting more small businesses from a requirement to offer coverage, trimming subsidies to help people buy health insurance, and making any government-sponsored insurance plan negotiate payment rates with medical providers — instead of dictating them.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee planned to begin work on the bill Thursday. Amendments to the legislation would include provisions of the deal. The committee is the last of three in the House to act on the legislation, and Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., hoped to finish by Friday when lawmakers leave for their monthlong August recess.
Alpha dog Mike Ross of Arkansas has reason to smile: His Blue Dog insurrection in the House looks as if it succeeded—if the progressives can be mollified.