QUOTE OF THE DAY…. We haven’t heard quite as much lately from center-right Blue Dog Democrats, but Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas, the caucus leader on health care, spoke to CNN today about his take on the debate.

“I know that a lot of members of my party in the House don’t want to hear this,” said Ross, but “my guess is about 90 percent [of the final bill presented to the White House] will be reflected from what’s in the Senate Finance Committee bill.”

I see. Six centrists and conservatives from small rural states get together in secret to hammer out an agreement that ignores the majority’s policy priorities. The negotiations include exactly zero of the Finance Committee’s progressive members, but include one of the Senate’s most conservative members and another Republican who doesn’t want to admit negotiations are even happening. Why, with a Democratic president, and large Democratic majorities in both chambers, would the final bill reflect the wishes demands of these six? Because Mike Ross intends to help make it happen.

The Blue Dog added:

“I can tell you, I’ve laid down my set of principles, so I will not force government-run health care on anyone. If there ever is government-run health care, the first ones to sign up should be the president and every member of Congress, including myself. You should be able to keep the insurance you’ve got today, if you like it, and always choose your own doctor. No federal funding for illegal immigrants or for abortion, and no rationing of health care. I will never vote for a bill to kill old people, period.” [emphasis added]

The leading Republican on health care walks around with Glenn Beck’s book. The leading Blue Dog on health care tells a national television audience that he won’t support a bill “to kill old people.”

Their opinions will help guide whether we’re able to reform the health care system.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.