Democratic divisions impeding healthcare reform.

The AP (7/10, Espo, Werner) reports that the health reform “system suffered yet another setback” in the House Thursday, when the “pivotal” Blue Dog Coalition of “moderate to conservative Democrats” complained to House leaders that “the emerging bill ‘lacks a number of elements essential to preserving what works and fixing what is broken.'”

The Washington Times (7/10, Haberkorn) reports that the “core of President Obama’s congressional agenda stalled” with the Blue Dogs’ statement that they “won’t support a bill that’s not fully paid for” and their expressing of “doubts over increasing taxes.” CongressDaily (7/10, Edney, Cohn, subscription required) reports “plans to release a final House overhaul bill today came to a screeching halt as the Blue Dog Coalition raised major concerns.” CQ Today (7/10, Armstrong, Wayne, subscription required) reports House leaders “tried to stave off an insurrection” by the moderates, but “acknowledged that they would not be able to release a final version of their legislation Friday as planned” because of the Blue Dog opposition.

However, in addition to the Blue Dogs’ letter, The Hill (7/10, Soraghan) reports 22 New Democrats and Blue Dogs also sent a letter to House leaders saying they “support a ‘robust’ government-run health plan, boosting chances of moving healthcare reform with a public insurance plan through the House.” Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) said, “While we may belong to a more moderate branch, we want it known that we support the public option.”

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