What Boustany considers an ‘interesting development’

WHAT BOUSTANY CONSIDERS AN ‘INTERESTING DEVELOPMENT’…. The demands of conservative Blue Dog Democrats in health care reform have been odd and contradictory. But their capacity to kill this rare opportunity remains great, and they can still make matters even worse.

Some centrist House Democrats have reached out to Republicans to explore breaking with their party leadership on healthcare and crafting a reform bill with the rival GOP, one congressman claimed Saturday.

Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) asserted that an “interesting development” is taking place underway that, if true, could effectively remove Democratic leadership from the driver’s seat on healthcare reform legislation in the House.

“There’s an interesting development occurring behind the scenes, wherein moderate Democrats — so-called “Blue Dog” Democrats — and business-friendly new Democrats are actually starting to have conversations with us to build a coalition from the center outward, to actually really come up with substantive and well-founded healthcare reform,” Boustany said during an appearance on Fox News. “And that’s the only way to do this.”

Really? That’s the “only” way to reform the system? For conservatives in one party to join up with conservatives in the other party, in order to undermine months of progress? Funny, I can think of other ways to reform the broken system.

Boustany added that “Republicans agree” with the idea of health care reform, just so long as it “doesn’t disrupt the whole system.”

In other words, Boustany and other conservatives will make sure the status quo (read: insurance companies) is protected. Again.

And thanks to the so-called “Gang of Six” and their demands for delays, opponents of real reform will have all of August to make this rare opportunity that much more difficult.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.