Burgess: Congress does not have the 'credibility' to pass health bill

A Texas House Republican who participated in the health reform negotiations said that Congress does not have the political capital to pass the legislation and that only President Barack Obama can get the bill ratified.

"Congress doesn't have the credibility or the popularity to do something this large," Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R-Tex.) told Fox News on Thursday. "Really, this is something on which the president is going to have to lead."

Burgess, who is a physician, is chair of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. Centrist Blue Dog Democrats on his committee brokered a deal with House leadership to pass their version of the bill just before August recess.

But Burgess explained that the president would have to do more to pass the bill through both chambers. The House and the Senate do not have floor versions of the bill up for consideration.

"The president does have the poll numbers but for whatever reason has kind of held back and has been defending the plans of five individual Democratic committee chairmen, which is a little bit odd from my perspective," he said.

The fourth-term congressman added that under health reform as it stands, private individual insurance "will likely go away and go away fairly quickly."

Employer based plans, he said, would take at least five years to "erode away."

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