Rep. Dennis Moore on Thursday said he believes it makes sense for Congress to slow down — at least for now — on crafting a health care reform bill.
The Democrat, whose district includes eastern Lawrence, also voiced support for a public health insurance option to compete in a market with private plans.
During an interview, Moore said legislation should allow people who like their current health insurance plans to keep them.
“If you don’t, and it’s not working, there should be an alternative. That alternative is a public option right now,” Moore said.
President Barack Obama had pressed Congress to pass major health care reform legislation before its August recess to try to reduce the millions of uninsured people in the country and control health-care costs. But high cost projections and divisions among Democrats on a specific plan have stalled efforts until the fall.
Moore’s support for a public option is a stand different from most other members of the Blue Dog Coalition — a group of fiscally conservative House Democrats that have voiced cost concerns.
He says a public insurance option should provide competition to keep down the cost of medical care instead of putting private companies at a disadvantage and moving the country to a single-payer system.
“I want to protect against that. I don’t think a public option is going to make that happen,” Moore said.
Last week, the Congressional Budget Office dealt a blow to the White House and Democratic leadership when it projected current bills would increase long-term U.S. costs instead of reducing them.
Blue Dog leaders recently met with Obama, and their emphasis was that a reform plan should cut costs and not increase the federal deficit.
“The message that they’re delivering is exactly a message that needs to be included in this legislation,” Moore said.