Senator Roy Blunt, shown here, is still hostile to how the Affordable Care Act is going, but still thinks people should get insurance from it. (Image Source: Gage Skidmore)
The following should not be considered defeat by Republicans against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as the Affordable Care Act, also known by them (and press everywhere since it's easier lede or headline material) as Obamacare. Still, the push against Obamacare got a little weaker today thanks to words by a leading opponent in the Senate. The Senator, Roy Blunt of Missouri, while saying that the Affordable Care Act has many problems, and that Missouri will not have its insurance exchange ready in time, still believes that people should enroll in the insurance exchanges, for the sake of having insurance.
The words come in the midst of an interview with Roy Blunt discussing the Affordable Care Act. Senator Blunt has been known as a lively opponent of the Affordable Care Act, and goes further by previously suggesting that Medicare and Medicaid, the government health insurance services for the elderly and the poor, should have never existed. During the debate over the creation of the Affordable Care Act, Senator Blunt led successful efforts to kill off the so-called "public option" of government-provided insurance.
Still, when asked about the opening of insurance exchanges, set to take place on October 1 (the same day the government is set to shut down based on current efforts), Roy Blunt was clear in that people should not "go uninsured just because Obama's health care policy" has affected their previous coverage. Senator Blunt emphasized that the insurance exchanges were "nowhere near ready," especially in Missouri, but he still thought the uninsured should still seek coverage, stating simply that "The exchanges are there, people need insurance."
This statement from one of Missouri's leading politicians comes despite the fact that the leading Republican within the state, Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, called for active resistance against the Affordable Care Act by not joining the exchanges at all, paying the tax penalty instead.
In essence, Roy Blunt's is not a defeat so much as it is a "stop acting silly" plea, and in a way it makes some sense: People need insurance. They should not use politics to inflict harm on themselves by refusing to sign up for insurance. There are better reasons to refuse insurance out there.