Earlier this week, I reported that Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR) -- the Blue Dog who has emerged as the leading barrier to the House passing a health care reform bill this summer -- and his personal ties to the health industry.

Looking at Congressional financial disclosure forms, we found that Rep. Ross and his wife Holly still own 100% of stock in Ross Pharmacy Inc. While most media reports merely say Ross sold the business in 2007, Rep. Ross' own 2008 disclosure form [pdf] states the couple still receive between $100,000 and $1 million in dividends from the company each year. Rep. Ross also still lists himself as the company's "director" (although he receives no salary).

But Rep. Ross' disclosures don't appear to report all of the family's connections to the health sector.

For example, Mike and Holly Ross also run Holly's Health Mart and Home Medical Equipment. The company's website listing clearly states that:

Holly's Health Mart and Home Medical Equipment was founded by Martin Guthrie in 1911 as Guthrie Drug. Today, it is owned and operated by Holly and Mike Ross.

They've clearly been associated with the company for a long time: For example, Holly Ross listed "Holly's Health Mart" as her employer in 2001 when she gave a $1,000 contribution to Mark Pryor for Senate.

So why didn't it appear on Rep. Ross' 2008 disclosure statement?




Disappointing those who hoped for a "breakthrough" earlier this week, Rep. Ross -- who has led a rebellion from his perch on the House Committee on Energy & Commerce -- says that House plan still doesn't do enough to contain costs:

I am committed to passing health care reform that lowers costs, improves quality of care, makes health insurance affordable for all Americans, and requires health insurance companies to cover all pre-existing conditions.  At the same time, health care reform must be deficit neutral and cannot add a dime of debt to our federal government.  For these reasons, I cannot support the House health care reform bill in its current form.  We cannot fix our problems by simply pouring more money into a broken system and we must do more to contain cost. 

One item is curiously missing from the statement: Rep. Ross' earlier demands that the bill include "rural health equity" -- a proposal that would have increased federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements in rural areas.

Another update: In my earlier piece on Rep. Ross' ties to the health care industry, I reported that, according to Congressional financial disclosure forms, Rep. Ross and his wife Holly still own 100% of stock in Ross Pharmacy Inc., which they no longer operate. In his disclosure form

But Rep. Ross' financial disclosure doesn't mention another important tie the family has to the health industry. 


Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR) -- the Blue Dog who has emerged as the leading barrier to the House passing a health care reform bill this summer -- issued a new statement on his position this morning in which he reveals he's still not on board with the Democratic plan.

Disappointing those who hoped for a "breakthrough" earlier this week, Rep. Ross -- who has led a rebellion from his perch on the House Committee on Energy & Commerce -- says that House plan still doesn't do enough to contain costs:

I am committed to passing health care reform that lowers costs, improves quality of care, makes health insurance affordable for all Americans, and requires health insurance companies to cover all pre-existing conditions.  At the same time, health care reform must be deficit neutral and cannot add a dime of debt to our federal government.  For these reasons, I cannot support the House health care reform bill in its current form.  We cannot fix our problems by simply pouring more money into a broken system and we must do more to contain cost. 

One item is curiously missing from the statement: Rep. Ross' earlier demands that the bill include "rural health equity" -- a proposal that would have increased federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements in rural areas.