House Democrats health care bill has been delayed indefinitely as leaders continue negotiations with fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats.
Committee chairmen had planned to release their bill on Friday and begin marking it up on Monday, but notices were sent out this morning noting that both the release and markup would be delayed.
Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), who chairs the Blue Dogs health care task force, warned leadership in a two-hour meeting Thursday night that his group would bolt unless a series of demands were met, including altering reimbursement rates under a proposed public option so that they are not based on Medicare rates.
Ross said he and other Blue Dogs will meet Friday with Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Education and Labor Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) in hopes of charting a path forward on the health care measure.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.