Rep. Mike Ross on Thursday boasted about how his Blue Dog coalition "held the [health care] bill hostage in committee for 10 days" and prevented a single player plan.
The Arkansas Democrat said that the conservative group's opposition ensured "that we don't end up with some type of single payer system," Firedoglake reported.
We ensured that if there is a government option, it will be just that -- an option -- and it won't be mandated on anybody. If it had been based on Medicare rates, I can assure you that it would have eventually ended up resulting in a single payer-type system, because Medicare has really good rates, because they're negotiating for every senior in America. Private insurance companies could not have competed with that. And so we would have at the end of the day ended up with single payer. Now we've leveled the playing field, if there is a government option they'll have to go out again and negotiate with providers just like private insurance companies do. That was important to me to insure that we don't end up with some type of single payer system.
The bill that House Democrats originally proposed included a fairly robust public option that would have structured payments for doctors and health care providers at a rate modified from the one used by Medicare.
However, after weeks of negotiations with conservative Democrats, a compromise bill emerged which allows doctors to negotiate their payment rates under the public option.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Ross expressed satisfaction with the weakened public option he helped engineer.