If you are wondering why some Democrats are not supporting President Barack Obama's health care reform initiative follow the money! It leads right from those who profit from the current bloated and bureaucratic system that leaves 50 million American uninsured right to the Blue Dog Political Action Committee which has collected $1.1 million for the 2010 election cycle.
People might voted for reform in November, but as we approach the dog days of August, its business as usual for the Blue Dog Democrats.
Monica Sanchez writes:
Blue Dogs, as ‘fiscally conservative’ Democrats are called, are falling well in line with ‘the right's delay and kill strategy’ towards health care reform. As The New York Times reported:
“Fiscally conservative House Democrats forced leaders of their party on Tuesday to slow the pace of work on major health care legislation so Congress and President Obama could address their concerns about the cost of the bill, its impact on small businesses and the shape of a proposed new government health insurance plan...
“‘The seven of us cannot support the current House bill,’ said Representative Mike Ross, Democrat of Arkansas, who is the point man on health care for the Blue Dogs. ‘Whether it requires a new bill or whether this bill can be amended, those are decisions, I guess, for the parliamentarians to help us make.’”
Congressional Quarterly also highlighted the ‘friendly fire’ threatening the Democratic health care reform bill in the House:
“Moderate ‘Blue Dog’ Democrats are starting to show their potential influence on the health care overhaul being written in the House. And top dogs in the House are taking note.
“‘There’s no doubt in my mind that if the Blue Dogs join with the Republicans they can bring this bill down,’ said Rep. Henry A. Waxman, chairman of one of the committees that’s been working on the health bill.
“The Blue Dogs, a 52-member coalition, are a closely watched group, as they have threatened to block approval of the House bill (HR 3200) unless it is modified to meet their concerns about its policies and cost. House leaders have been struggling to woo enough of them to assure passage once the bill goes to the floor.”
But putting a wrench in the works may not be just about differing values. It has proven very lucrative, according to Congressional Quarterly Today: “Democrats in the Blue Dog Coalition might have drawn the ire of party liberals for putting the brakes on the fast-moving health care overhaul, but their political action committee has been raking in contributions from business interests with an eye on reshaping President Obama’s signature initiative.
“The Blue Dog Political Action Committee has collected $1.1 million for the 2010 election cycle, more than any other leadership political action committee on Capitol Hill, according to CQ MoneyLine.
“The total includes about $300,000 from health care interests, including $158,000 from doctors and other provider groups; $87,000 from makers of drugs and medical devices; and $50,000 from health insurance interests.”
Which begs the question, just whose interests are these ‘Blue Dogs’ representing? If you are one of their constituents, let them know you expect them to stand up for your need for affordable health care now by supporting the House health care reform bill as introduced.