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For Immediate Release Contact: Kristen Hawn (202) 226-9782
July 29, 2009
Blue Dog Statement on Health Care Reform Legislation in the House
Washington, DC - Today, Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Blue Dog Co-Chair for
Administration, issued the following statement regarding the continued development of health
care reform legislation in the House.
“The Blue Dogs have been successful in ensuring the House will have time to assess the
committee products on health care reform, both in the House and the Senate, as there will be no
vote on the House floor before August.
“Blue Dogs believe fundamental reform of our health care system is needed to control rising
health care costs, increase quality and value, and improve access to coverage and care.
Comprehensive health care reform must be deficit-neutral and bend the cost curve in the long
run. We also believe health care reform must preserve patient choice of provider and maintain
competition within the marketplace.
“Progress has been and will continue to be difficult, but getting it right is more important than
getting it done right away or working on artificial timetables. Before the full House considers a
bill, the Blue Dog Coalition will assess the scoring by the Congressional Budget Office and
ensure it appropriately reflects the principles we have articulated. While it appears ongoing
negotiations at the committee level have yielded a number of important concessions in the
direction of our principles, many Blue Dogs remain concerned with various aspects of the bill
draft. We remain committed to being a positive and productive influence in the process and
improving the bill even further, including through the amendment process in committee.
“The 52-member Blue Dog Coalition has not taken a group position on the draft health care
legislation that is working through the committee process. Today's announcement signifies that
the committee process is moving forward. The committee will work its will, but the broader
coalition has not ratified any agreements related to the draft legislation.”
The fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition was formed in 1995 with the goal of
representing the center of the House of Representatives and appealing to the mainstream values
of the American public. The Blue Dogs are dedicated to a core set of beliefs that transcend
partisan politics, including a deep commitment to the financial stability and national security of
the United States. Currently there are 52 members of the Blue Dog Coalition. For more
information, visit the Blue Dog Website at http://www.house.gov/melancon/BlueDogs