Why the Blue Dogs Are Slowing Health-Care Reform

Why moderate Democrats are putting the brakes on health-care reform

Jamie Squire / Getty for TIME

Kansas Representative Dennis Moore and his wife Stephene speak with constituents at a farmers' market in Overland Park, Kans., on July 11, 2009

"Got a lot of farms in your district?" In Washington, Representative Dennis Moore, a six-term Democrat, fields that question all the time. People see that he's from Kansas and they jump to certain conclusions. But Moore's district is USDA-prime suburbia, more John Updike than L. Frank Baum, mile after mile of trim lawns, Panera Breads, Best Buys and carpooling parents. "What we grow," Moore likes to answer, "is a lot of small business."

And this helps explain why Moore is now saying, in his laconic Kansas drawl, "Slow down!" to the leaders of his party as they push...