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For months, the Blue Dog Democrats have asked their party leaders to be a part of the health care reform. But according to Rep. Mike Ross (D-Arkansas), chairman of the Blue Dog's health care task force, these lawmakers have been shut out of the process just like their conservative Republican counterparts. So they made their concerns public and are now reaping the consequences.
Pro-life Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Michigan) says he has been "taken to the woodshed" by House Leadership for disagreeing with the health care reform bill. He and other Blue Dogs have serious concerns with the bill that simply aren't being addressed by their party leaders. They are working to ensure that Democrat leadership doesn't jam health care through Congress before their issues are resolved. The fortitude of the Blue Dog Democrats, particularly Members on the Energy and Commerce Committee, to cross their party's leadership and potentially derail the bill has provided an opportunity for Americans to find out what is actually inside this massive piece of legislation.
And what's included should terrify us all. This legislation will create a fundamental right to abortion in our health care system. Concerns about the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) were spot on - this health care legislation is FOCA by stealth. The health care legislation will mandate and subsidize abortion coverage in American health plans, will nullify state laws that limit abortion, and require "access" to elective abortions, which will result in more abortion clinics.
The health care reform bill will lead to rationing. A government board will determine what treatments can and cannot be allowed. Pres. Obama says only people who will get "healthier" should get treatment - which theoretically excludes the disabled, the elderly, and others who bureaucrats decide aren't worth the cost. Many doctors, who will be forced to violate their consciences under this bill, are planning to leave the profession if it passes. This means all of us will have less access to every kind of health care.
Offering a "public option" virtually guarantees that people will move from private to public health insurance. A provision in the House bill would outlaw citizens obtaining new private plans after the public plan begins. Health care decisions will be taken out of patients' and doctors' hands and placed into the government's hands.
The current health care reform bill also requires every individual to buy health insurance or pay a fine. Radical pro-abortion Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius would determine whether a particular plan would qualify. This mandate means that cost-sharing arrangements, such as Christians who jointly pay for health care for families within their groups, could be forced to purchase a health insurance plan that violates their religious beliefs.
The overwhelming cost of the health care reform bill is staggering, especially when experts have predicted that current Medicare funding could run out within seven years. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this reform package will cost $1 trillion. Others estimate it to be $1.6 trillion with $800 billion in tax hikes and fees that could add as much as $239 billion to the deficit.
The Blue Dog Democrats are now facing a full court press from the Obama Administration. They will be meeting with President Obama this afternoon and will likely face tremendous pressure to cave on their principles in order to pass this health care reform bill.
Take Action: Please call the following Blue Dog Democrats now at 202-225-3121 and urge them to continue to oppose the health care reform bill.
Blue Dogs - Top Target by Democrat Leadership
Mike Ross (Arkansas)
John Barrow (Georgia)
Baron Hill (Indiana)
Charlie Melancon (Louisiana)
Zachary Space (Ohio)
Bart Gordon (Tennessee)
Jim Matheson (Utah)
Blue Dogs - Sent Letter to Leadership to Exclude Abortion
Dan Boren (Oklahoma)
Bobby Bright (Alabama)
Travis Childers (Mississippi)
Jerry Costello (Illinois)
Kathy Dahlkemper (Pennsylvania)
Lincoln Davis (Tennessee)
Mike Doyle (Pennsylvania)
Steve Driehaus (Ohio)
Tim Holden (Pennsylvania)
Paul Kanjorski (Pennsylvania)
Marcy Kaptur (Ohio)
Mike McIntyre (North Carolina)
Charlie Melancon (Louisiana)
John Murtha (Pennsylvania)
Jim Oberstar (Minnesota)
Solomon Ortiz (Texas)
Collin Peterson (Minnesota)
Heath Shuler (North Carolina)
Bart Stupak (Michigan)
Gene Taylor (Mississippi)
For a complete list of Blue Dog Democrats to call please click here.