June 8th, 2009
04:22 PM ET
5 years ago

Blunt: Public health care option a non-starter

Missouri Republican Rep. Roy Blunt spoke out Monday against the public health insurance option that Democrats are advocating for as part of their health care reform proposal.
Missouri Republican Rep. Roy Blunt spoke out Monday against the public health insurance option that Democrats are advocating for as part of their health care reform proposal.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Missouri GOP Rep. Roy Blunt, who is heading up health care efforts in the House, said today he has made it clear to Democratic leaders that pushing for a public option in health care legislation is a non-starter for House Republicans. "That is a problem that is virtually insurmountable because we just don't think that it leads to real competition," Blunt said Monday.

President Obama sent a letter to Republican leaders last week responding to their plea that the GOP be included as a healthcare bill is developed. Blunt noted that the letter doesn't disclose any details, but makes it clear the president wants a bill passed by the House by August 1.

Blunt called that date an "artificial deadline" and said "we can't be part of the discussion if you won't let us in the room." House Republicans plan to unveil their own alternative healthcare legislation in the coming weeks and Blunt pledged that it will cost substantially less than the Democratic proposals.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. phoenix86

    Democrats and Oblama are trying to ram through a Health Care Nationalization bill that will take away everyone's current health care benefits and force all into a single payor system.

    In other words, someone who now works at the DMV will be in a position to determine if you or your family "deserve" or "need" certain types of treatement.

    Thanks Oblama, Zimbabwe here we come!!!!

    June 8, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. Barbara Independent in NY

    Roy Blunt. Just another member of Congress owned by the healthcare industry.

    June 8, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. John

    Sorry Blount, but for those of us who don't have the superb public health care that we give YOU, the GOP is a non-starter.

    June 8, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. Ellen in Florida

    Well duh!! Of course she didn't reply, the dinner isn't all about her.

    June 8, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. Esco

    Republicans sure know how to make a difficult time/situation...that much harder ^_^

    June 8, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Peejay

    Could someone please tell me what ISN'T a non-starter for House or Senate Republicans?

    June 8, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. Independent_me

    Figures. Blunt and his Repug allies all have wonderful health care.
    They can afford to be ideological about it.
    The rest of us have to suffer. We, the people, are paying for their health care. We should make them go through what we live every day, then they'll have a different outlook.

    June 8, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. Minnesotan

    "Pushing for a public option in health care legislation is a non-starter for House Republicans." Gee, why don't the Republicans want to hear about OUR opinions? Guess that's why they're out of power and look like a bunch of fools, since our country was founded BY the people and FOR the people.... not for the greed and incompetence of the GOP.

    June 8, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. dreamer

    Real competition is what got us in to this mess.Get a clue and get folks the health care and they need and stop pandering to the rich lobbiest that now entrench our health care system.captitalisim and health card do NOT go hand in hand.When you have millions without health care but the boards of thies huge health care companys making millions of dollers pofits that somehow just don't add up.

    June 8, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. Had It

    Put Congress and their families on whatever plan they come up with for us.

    Maybe THAT will get the job done right. In the meantime, no healthcare for them - until we have healthcare that is reasonably priced.

    June 8, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. David

    The GOP's idea for health care is to deregulate the insurance industry and "don't get sick." With a plan like that, of course it's cheaper. It also doesn't do anything to improve our health care. Deregulation was a disaster for the banking/financial industry and would be an even bigger disaster for health care.

    June 8, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. Craig

    Republican health care plan would be for rich people only. Anybody that does not realize that is just crazy.

    June 8, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. Frank, Las Vegas

    Blount, are you dumb or just an idiot for the GOP? Without a strong public option to give the insurance companies competition they will never lower their prices. You also seem to forget that this is one of the many reasons the American people rejected the GOP policies.

    June 8, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. Obama Victim

    interesting that the same people who went crazy over the abuses and poor management at Halibuton and the Pentagon..........and who perpetually condemned the in-efficiency of government.......are so eager to turn their health care over to the government......have you been to the Post Office or DMV lately.......................right, I want those people planning my operation

    June 8, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  15. Ted

    Obama Victim says "interesting that the same people who went crazy over the abuses and poor management at Halibuton and the Pentagon……….and who perpetually condemned the in-efficiency of government…….are so eager to turn their health care over to the government……have you been to the Post Office or DMV lately…………………..right, I want those people planning my operation"

    So then don't pick the government option!!!!!!

    What are you afraid of?

    June 8, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Republicans always talk of an alternative but never give any details. Please, give me a hint at what you're suggesting Mr. Blunt. Frankly, be blunt.

    June 8, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. Marcus, Great Lakes, IL

    Phoenix86,

    Give me a break. We already have universal healthcare for the poor (Wis. has badgercare), we have universal healthcare for those undocumented, it is called the emergency room and all they have to do is ask for Charity Assistance, and we have universal healthcare for those over 65 and/or disabled. It is called Medicaid and Medicare. What we DON'T have is insurance for those people who fall through the crack, you know, the guy who's company doesn't offer medical insurance and his wife or child has a pre existing medical condition and cannot pay for the premiums because he doesn't make enough money and is too "rich" to be able to get the state run programs.

    You all just don't get it unless, unfortunately it happens to you.

    June 8, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. independent

    He wants to be 'in the room' but he is already dictating what would be a 'non-starter'. Convenient of him to let the President know up front what he is willing to discuss, and what is a waste to time. Now the President knows whether or not to invite him at all. :-)

    June 8, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. heartlight3

    If the Health Insurance industry had provided a reasonably priced, workable service that met the needs of their customers, we would not be having this discussion. The fact that we want something else is a direct result of their own actions. They have priced themselves out of the market and produced results inferior to 36 other countries, now they are facing the consequences. I have observed that in the previous administration consequences were seldom considered. Now we have no choice. If we screw up, sometimes we just have to take responsibility and accept the results. That is what this is. I don't feel sorry for the insurance companies. They did this to themselves. The Republicans talk about self responsibility, but apparently they only believe in it under certain circumstances.

    June 8, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. Eileen

    Blunt contradicts himself twice in the course of this conversation – if you get the full version, and not the parsed version shown here. I think a government plan would facilitate competition and lower prices – he's just looking out for his buddies in the insurance industry. The republicans never fail me...Party and lobbyists first, country somewhere down the line.

    Why don't our representatives want us to have access to the same health care they're lucky enough to participate in?

    I'd rather see health care go to reconcilliation than accept a watered down option with republican participation.

    June 8, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. Ted

    The GOP want to privatize as many government fuinctions as possible because 'private industry is more effecient'. So why are they affraid that big fat incompetent ineffecient government will out compete private health insurance?

    June 8, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. John in Ohio

    Whether it's a non-starter for House Republicans strikes me as entirely irrelevant.

    Like House Republicans.

    June 8, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. tfc

    Blunt is not in the position to say what is a non-starter.

    June 8, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  24. Typical Republican

    Yea...we need real competition, like "you gotta compete to live america. We, the republicans don't, we don't have to because us politicians have GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE...but not for you, you all should die! You gotta be a republican politician to have government health care, so go die all the rest of you"

    Thats why I vote for republicans, because they are so moral and looking out for the american citizen rather then just the business of america and corporate america. And their stance on this PROVES they are not just about Corporate America. They care for all of us, as long as we are paying too much for the goods we get.

    June 8, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. Jilli

    For all those complaining about a government health care plan...how many senators have you heard complain about their coverage?

    June 8, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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