Blue Dog Dem: Pelosi Lacks the Votes

Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) discusses Health Care on Face The Nation. CBS

"Blue Dog" Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper of Tennessee said on "Face the Nation" Sunday that he does not think House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has the votes to pass a health care bill next week before the House of Representatives breaks for summer recess.

"We are still in the earliest stages of drafting reform, we have a long way to go," Cooper said, admitting that most members of Congress want to take a deeper look at the legislation before voting.

"David Axelrod is right, we have agreement on 70 or 80 percent of the legislation, but it is important we get the other details right, too," he said, alluding to an earlier interview with the White House advisor.

CBS' Bob Schieffer asked the congressman what he wanted to see in a health care bill.

Cooper offered a number of successful "models" of health care delivery but stressed that the final plan should be bipartisan.

"The real question is not about authorship but more about craftsmanship, a bill that works, and this president laid out excellent guidelines.

"We are for reform, we want a good bill to pass this year, and I think that can happen," he said.

Schieffer asked if the congressman would vote for a bill which included a tax on the most expensive insurance plans.

"That is a very interesting and promising new development in the discussions," he replied.

"This is a free country, you should be able to buy whatever health insurance you want to with your own money. But you should not be able to force your fellow taxpayers to subsidize your choice of these super luxury plans," he said.
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