Conservative House Democrats could derail the party's plans to turn health care reform into bad medicine for President Bush. House and Senate Democratic leaders still hope to push a bill through Congress, wait for President Bush to veto it, then attack the GOP as the only thing standing between Americans and better health care. But the 75-odd members of the Conservative Democratic Forum may forestall a radical overhaul by pushing a more modest alternative. The proposal, being drafted by Representative Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), would require companies to buy insurance from managed-care networks to qualify for tax deductions. It would also expand eligibility for medicaid, allowing the near-poor to buy into the plan.

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