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. Sniffit

    The itsy bitsy party climbed up the Hill to pout
    Down came the votes and washed the party out...

    June 8, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  2. Allen in Hartwell GA

    "That is a problem that is virtually insurmountable because we just don't think that it leads to real competition," Blunt said Monday.
    What he really means is that there will be less pigs at the trough filling their bellies.
    Whether people like it or not, he government is already in the business of running health care benefit systems – they're called Medicare, TriCare, and VA, for the three biggest. People on these systems receive sufficient health care, without breaking the budget. The only reason most people don't want the government involved in health care is because they are afraid they will have to wait in line with the "low lifes". But nothing will stop them from paying for insurance above and beyond, so what's the problem?

    June 8, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Hopeful Optimist

    Last night I sidled up to a hottie in my local watering hole and asked her if she'd like to discuss healthcare. She gave me a puzzled look but didn't respond otherwise. I then asked her if she'd like to see my stimulus package. She slapped me !!!!

    June 8, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. Too True For You

    Right on, Peejay!!!

    The republican operating credo of: "Why do anything different if it doesn't benefit the rich?" is alive and well. I know they all believe our current health care system is working SO WELL, in spite of the fact that 60% of bankruptcies in the US are due to health care costs. That doesn't matter if you're a congressman or rich.

    And we all know the idea of a deadline, of actually getting something accomplished in a realistic amount of time (without having big business in the back room writing the policy ala Cheney) is anathema to the republicans. But as they say, "There's a new sheriff in town!"

    June 8, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. katiec

    The insurance companies run our health care system, dictating to doctors how patients are to be cared for. The drug companies rape us with their prices and the hospitals have no limit on how much they can spend on new parking lots etc. The clause in the prescription plan penned by the republicans that there can be no bids, seeking competitive prices on drugs has to be eliminated.
    The American people are sick of the republican actions and tactics.
    They continue to and always will put big business over our welfare.
    America, we have to do something to stop these politicians before they totally destroy our country. E-mail, call, write, blog. We have to
    take the United States of America back from these hypocrits. We can do so in the voting booth but they can do humungous damage until time. Any suggestions??

    June 8, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. Alex

    It's not like the Dems are even pushing for a real public option (thanks to Obama and Sen. Baucus). Nonetheless, Blunt is totally irrelevant and not in any position to call anything a "non-starter".

    June 8, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. Fla.

    To be "blunt," I've sadly begun to expect little more from the Party of NO. No ideas, no cooperation, no starter, no support, etc.

    Are these so-called "conservatives" paying any attention??

    President Obama made it clear there are NO MANDATES in his healthcare plan. If Americans like their current coverage, they can stay with it.

    We are ALREADY PAYING for national coverage, considering huge medical expenses have become one of leading causes of bankruptcies in the US, which falls back on the taxpayer.

    Insurance companies are making OBSCENE PROFITS off the backs of working Americans. They put our life & death decisions in their interests of shareholders over the best care for patients.

    Something needs to change with our misguided system. Compassionate reforms are needed NOW.

    June 8, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. Paul C

    It puzzles me that we can afford $10 billion a month on our little military adventure in Iraq, multibillions for aircraft carriers, 220 million for jet fighters, etc, but universal health care is an unnecessary luxury.
    If I had the power I would take the lavish health care from our representatives that think it is un-American.
    No one in Canada, Australia, England, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, as well as every other industrialized country, has ever had to declare bankruptcy because of medical bills.
    They may have to wait for some medical procedures but the more than 40 million uninsured Americans will wait forever.
    When I go to any Doctor's office invariable the clerk is engaged in determining and verifying the insurance or payment plan for any service.
    Tell me again how rich we are.......

    June 8, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. fedup

    The only reason the Democrats in congress want government health care is for the votes the issue garners them. Do not be fooled into believing the Democrats are trying to push through health care to better individuals or this country. They are only looking to grow the Democratic Party. The money money the Democrats promise the more votes they get!

    The government is not going to be able to lower the cost of health care. If 634 billion is a down payment over the next ten years what is the real cost and how does spending all that money that the government does have save anyone or the government money? It doesn't! It helps some individuals, hurts other individuals, and does nothing to put this country in a better economic place.

    June 8, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Jonathan

    Anyone on here who says Obama is pushing for nationalization, single pay, or any other kind of govt run healthcare is spreading LIES. During the campaign he explicitly stated many times he does not want to mess with anyone who gets their insurance through their employer and that those individuals that take advantage of the new coverage will have to pay for it. Right now there is no insurance company that will make affordable coverage available and when they do they nit pick every claim so they don't have to pay what they are supposed to. If you are buying into the BS that is getting advertised by the so called "patients rights" groups then shame on you for not doing your due diligence and researching what they are claiming. It is very simple to see what the tactic is. The GOP is just throwing out a bunch of baseless claims to cloud and dilute the dialogue.

    June 8, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. Allen in Hartwell GA

    To paraphrase several comments:
    "healthcare by the people who deliver your mail and make your driver's license."
    Don't know who these idiots are, but the DMV and USPS have nothing to do with health care, however they do a fine job at what they are doing. The government has experienced people running Medicare, TriCare, and VA health care. Why aren't you ditto heads using these as your examples?

    For those of you who don't think that government employees can do their jobs, try to get along without them. Even better, why not insult them to their faces the next time you are at their counter, rather than spout your hatred on these blogs.

    June 8, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    GOPers are very good at drawing lines in the sand....terrible at drawing them straight tho.

    June 8, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
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