Key Blue Dog: I Will Oppose Health Care Bill with Public Option

Congressional Quarterly/Newscom

Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR)–the leader of the Blue Dogs’ Health Care Task Force–says he will vote against health care legislation if it includes a public option.

“I have been skeptical about the public health insurance option from the beginning and used August to get feedback from you, my constituents,” Ross wrote in a newsletter to constituents. “An overwhelming number of you oppose a government-run health insurance option and it is your feedback that has led me to oppose the public option as well.”

“[I]f House leadership presents a final bill that contains a government-run public option, I will oppose it,” he added.After blocking progress on House health care legislation in the days leading up to August recess, Ross struck a deal and voted to move health care legislation out of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Then he went home and boasted that he’d held health care reform “hostage.”


Brian Beutler is TPM’s senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he’s led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at