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

Blunt: Public health care option a non-starter

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/08/art.royblunt0608.gi.jpg caption="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. Zero.

    Trouble is! They won't admit what they have done. Electing Obama.

    They will crawl on their kneese first. Poor suckers.

    June 8, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. phoenix86

    GB in Kansas,

    At least you recognize that you do not have the capacity to take care of yourself without government help.

    June 8, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Jim, former Republican

    Here's what's a non-starter: The Republican Party!

    June 8, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. Deborah, Lake Forest IL

    GB in Kansas

    Oh, Snap!!

    June 8, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. Mike in Cincinnati

    The president has 3 criteria for health care legislation: Reduce Costs, Ensure choice (including the choice to stay with existing or other private coverages), and Availability of quality, affordable health care for everyone.

    The Republicans and the Insurance Companies want to make sure that there is NO public option to compete with the private companies. The liberals want to have a single, public payment model, and get rid of the private insurers.

    The President is taking the middle, and what seems to me, the logical ground - introducing a public option for those who cannot get or afford anything else, and in this way allow choice and encourage competition as a means of driving quality up and costs down. That sounds reasonable to me.

    June 8, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. phoenix86

    Sotomayor broke her ankle walking through LaGuardia. So I guess that although a Latina woman has better judicial talents than white males, they can't walk as well that them.

    June 8, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    @ Sue Dubya, MI, who said "single-payer systems are doing much BETTER than we are in health outcomes"

    Those stats are interesting (I would have thought it reversed), but they tell very VERY little of the story. Cultural/population differences can play a huge difference in life expectancy tables: what we eat (and how much), alcoholism/drug use incidence rates, genetic makeup of the population, i.e., factors like race and its correlation to congenital diseases (the classic example always being sickle cell), etc. It's not just the access to and quality of the available medical care that's determinative. That being said, there are sites out there with great fine-tuned stats showing why this is necessary and it's appalling that CNN and other media outlets are so addicted to controversy as the means for generating viewership/subscriptions to justify their ad revenue that they purposefully neglect to cite statistics and information that pretty much resolves the issue.

    June 8, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Melissa

    Of course it is. To the Republicans. They care more about their greed than they do about peoples lives.

    June 8, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  9. tee

    Come on peole, we need to stop the healthcare companies from making healthcare decisions for our doctors and us, while linning their pockets.

    June 8, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. WhoCares?

    A pure clear sign that Republicans don't even listen to their own constituents.

    June 8, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. RealityKing

    Americans leveaging their pay checks is what got us in this mess. And now Obama wants too over leveage 46 cents out of every dollar to pay for his agenda??

    Sure..., that's going to work.

    June 8, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. RealityKing

    We can't afford the 15 million American without insurance now, so how are we going to afford the millions of more Americans laid off or under employed in Obama's new socialistic republic??

    June 8, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. Mel of Alexandria

    The GOP's plan is to confuse, object, delay and they hope that their tactics will lead to failure for the Dems.

    We see through their spin. They have made it easy for us to ignore what they think. That is not good, but it is the lesser of two evils.

    June 8, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. demwit

    Does this mean I won;t have to pay my current $3200 per year family plan for the best healthcare in the world??

    June 8, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. Terry from Texas

    Blunt was elected in 1997. Even though he does not mention health care among the list of important issues, he has had ten years to think about it. Doesn't he have ANY ideas ready to go?

    His issues, by the way, are methamphetamine, lower taxes, border security, growing small businesses, and free flow of ideas around the world. Nothing about overpopulation, global warming, the economic crisis, regulation of corporations, etc. etc. See for yourself.

    June 8, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  16. Hammer

    Abomination has called out his legions of followers with the threat that the congress might, fro once, deny them a free ride on healthcare. Work is not in their vocabulary, handout is all they know.

    June 8, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  17. John from California

    The republican health care plan is what we have today, great care for the rich and run away costs for the rest of us.

    The republicans have been controlling the health care industry and the result of their conservative leadership has given us a plan that is third world care for the vast majority of Americans.

    The republicans want to be invited into the room to "help" with crafting a new and improved health care system but, all they want to do is delay and change because in reality, they love the system we have today.

    June 8, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. michaelam

    really pheonix86? I take you for one of those knuckle dragging types... Neanderthalish.

    You can't be more wrong about Judge Sotomayor. Breaking an ankle and heading back to work immediately is a huge accomplishment. When I broke my ankle, I was off for one week. This just proves to me that she one tough cookie and will be very dedicated to her new job.

    Now, put a few band-aids on those skinned up knuckles.

    June 8, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  19. Deborah, Lake Forest IL


    You must be the life of the pity party. I have never read such doom and gloom in my life.

    Life is too short to be filled with such vile.

    Have a better year!

    June 8, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  20. Mia

    The insurance system does not work the way it is now. That is why there is a movement to reform it. Republicans are delusional in thinking that the solution is to tax all insurance benefits. A tax credit of $5,000 is going to do exactly squat when the average plan costs $12,500 a year. I laugh when they say people want their own health care plans. Sure the people who can AFFORD insurance. What about the people who can't afford insurance?

    June 8, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  21. Javier

    Health Care Professionals make the most Money in USA.


    Because Health Care Services in USA are Monopolistic.

    This is Socialism not Capitalism to let some have a Monopoly.

    At least there is no Monopoly by Health Services in Socialist Countries

    Wake up America........................

    June 8, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  22. democrat no mas

    How are you going to force doctors to accept your as yet unfunded single payer plan? Our clinic is trying to cut down on all Medicare patients. We accept no new ones. We haven't accepted Medicaid for years, unless by referral from another doctor. Simply put, Medicare & Medicaid don't pay the bills. We would like to take care of them, but we can't afford to. If all patients go to this mismanaged program, then we opt out if we can, or look for cosmetic procedures to pay the bills. To assume that we want to see 30+ patients a day to make big profits is ridiculous. Obama had better make medical school shorter, cheaper and more available, because the doctors we have can't do what he's asking–work longer for less.

    June 8, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  23. Kevin B

    The similarities between the GOP and Al Qeada are uncanny. Both work in cowardly ways and diligently to attack americans and want americans to fail.

    Both are willing to commit suicide (politically for the GOP and literally for Al Queda) in the name of thier twisted ideology.

    June 8, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    @ BigPoppi, who said "Instead of constantly bashing one party why not tell us why the push for a Nationalized Health Care system is needed. While most of you are quite good at name calling I get the feeling most of you have no idea what that means."

    The facts and evidence have been laid out on the tabel time after time after time after time after time. You can find it ALL quite easily on the internet. Give the propensity of GOPers to shut down and simply not listen when they're hearing something they don't want to hear (and then subsequently pretend it's not been said, like you have), most of us feel no need for it to be repeated upon request. And yes, we have every idea of what it all means...it means people who can afford private insurance can keep on paying for it or not as they choose and that those who are too poor to afford it might finally be able to get some. If you paid as much attention to those who are spouting facts and evidence as you do to meatballs like Rush who spout only ideology and fabrications, you wouldn't be so scared.

    June 8, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
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