Lead Blue Dog: House makes 'significant breakthrough' on health bill

Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), the lead Blue Dog Democrat on healthcare reform, called the compromise struck between the centrist group and House Democratic leaders a "significant breakthrough" on the bill.

This afternoon, it was reported that the two sides that have been sparring over the House bill had agreed to cut costs and delay a floor vote until after the August recess.

Ross used Twitter to comment:
Significant breakthrough on health care-House leadership agrees to deal that reduces costs, saves rural hospitals, protects small businesses

Blue Dogs and Democratic leaders eliminated $100 billion from the bill and allowed states to form health insurance "co-ops" to compete with the government-run "public option" and private insurance companies.

Four out of the seven Blue Dogs on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which had been at an impasse on the bill, agreed to the compromise with chair Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)

Reps. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), Baron Hill (D-Ind.) and Zack Space (D-Ohio) and Ross agreed to the deal while Reps. John Barrow (D-Ga.), Charlie Melancon (D-La.) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah) did not.

As a result of the compromise, two Republican committee members have indicated that markup on the bill will resume this afternoon.

The news irked one of the committee Republicans. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) tweeted:
Rumors are we return to healthcare markup at 4 PM. Rumors are still a public plan....sad. #healthbill

Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) was more certain that the committee would pick the bill back up, tweeting:
Markup on the Democratic health care plan is back on this afternoon in the Energy and Commerce Committee #fb

Cross-posted to the Twitter Room