Again, who needed to be whipped in the first place? The Blue Dogs, not the Progressives. Count the votes folks, count the votes, the White House finally got that message.
Speaker Pelosi is nixing a deal she cut with centrists to advance health reform, said a source familiar with negotiations.
Pelosi’s decision to abandon the agreement that was made with a group of Blue Dogs to get the bill out of committee would steer the healthcare legislation back to the left as she prepares for a floor vote.
Sorry, no pity party here for the Blue Dogs. This group have been obstructionists in health care matters, just read here about Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR) and his sweetheart deal with USA Drug. The problem with Ross is that his district is FOR THE PUBLIC OPTION, while he is trying to kill it. With this stuff going on, how can you possibly trust the Blue Dogs to do anything on the up and up?
Pelosi is planning to include a government-run public option in the House version of the healthcare bill. She wants to model it on Medicare, with providers getting reimbursed on a scale pegged to Medicare rates.
"The speaker is full-steam-ahead," said a senior Democratic aide.
Blue Dog Democrats, many of whom represent rural districts where Medicare reimbursement rates are low, vehemently oppose tying the public option to Medicare.
Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) and a group of fellow Blue Dogs had negotiated a deal with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) in July that would remove the link to Medicare. Under that plan, officials with the government-run plan would negotiate individually with providers.
That move, which drew howls of protest from liberal members, prevented the bill from getting stuck in committee. But Ross returned from the August break saying he couldn't support a public option under any circumstances, essentially withdrawing his support for the deal.
What will happen when the vote comes around is this, members of congress, especially the Blue Dogs who are in districts that want the public option will have unparalleled pressure to vote NO on the health care bill. If they don't they will then be told by their insurance lobbyists paycheck pals that another candidate will be backed, the blitzkrieg of ads will run in their districts and they will be defeated.
Now these blue dogs can go against their constituents at their peril, but they won't get cover from the White House, in the end.