Burgess: Lawmakers should 'work around' party leaders on healthcare

Lawmakers in both parties will have to ignore their leaders in Congress if healthcare reform will be accomplished this year, one Republican lawmaker said Tuesday.

Rep. Michael BurgessMichael BurgessGoonies, Pokemon and ‘transsexual shake’ speak to raucous scene at convention FDA to finalize rules on lab tests over GOP opposition Lawmakers: Smartphone health apps need to be smarter MORE (R-Texas) suggested that his own party's leaders were not especially engaged in the issue, and asserted that Democratic leaders have also played a role in stalling reform.

"There are many of us who are anxious to work on this, sit down and work in a bipartisan fashion," Burgess said during an appearance on CNBC.

Burgess was a practicing physician before joining Congress, and founded the Congressional Health Care Caucus, a Republican group, earlier this year.

"This is going to take the rank-and-file members of Congress working around their leadership to get done," Burgess said. "I don't think the leadership on the Democratic side, and quite frankly, my own leadership is engaged as it should be."

He said, for instance, that the House might have been able to pass some reforms for the uninsured before the August congressional recess had lawmakers in both parties been more free to work with each other.

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