Blue Dogs, Boswell a Health Care Obstacle
Leonard Boswell's pals in the House Blue Dog Coalition of conservative Democrats may be the latest barrier to health care reform.
The Blue Dogs Thursday released a statement headed, "Health Care Reform Must Protect Consumer Choice, Promote Competition in the Marketplace," and signed by the group's 15 member Health Care Task Force. Boswell's not part of that subgroup, but is a member of the larger 51 member Blue Dog Coalition.
"Among their requirements," writes Congressional Quarterly, "the public plan must negotiate payment rates with providers; participation in the plan must be voluntary for both providers and patients; premiums and copayments under the plan must pay for its operations; and the plan must follow the same actuarial standards and regulations required of private insurers."
"The availability of a public option would only occur as a fallback and in the absence of adequate competition and cost containment," reads the full statement (.pdf)
"Politically, the Blue Dogs’ document sets the coalition’s 51 members squarely at odds with a group of 78 liberals in the House who have cosponsored legislation (HR 676) by John Conyers Jr. , D-Mich., that would expand Medicare to all Americans and outlaw most private insurance," writes CQ.
Those 78 Democrats include 2nd District Rep. Dave Loebsack, but not 1st District Rep. Bruce Braley.
But Boswell still seems to be in good standing with party leadership, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi is visiting Des Moines with Boswell Saturday.