Why Are Blue Dogs Derailing Health Reform?

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2009 8:33 AM CDT
Henry Waxman speaks after he and other Blue Dog Democrats met with President Barack Obama last week.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – The Blue Dogs are threatening to sink health care reform in the House for reasons that don't seem to add up, Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times. The coalition of conservative Democrats—whose support President Obama needs—is crying loudly about fiscal responsibility, Krugman writes, while at the same time calling for changes—like dropping public competition for private insurers—that would inflate the plan's cost.

It's not inconceivable that some of the Blue Dogs are in the pockets of the drug and insurance industries, Krugman writes, although most have shown they have some integrity by sticking with the party when the GOP was ascendant. The health plan they're railing against is based on the four pillars of "regulation, mandates, subsidies, and competition," Krugman writes, and any attempt to weaken one of those will likely doom the bill and possibly Obama's presidency. "Is that what the Blue Dogs really want to see happen?" Krugman asks. "We’ll soon find out."