Luetkemeyer wants delay in health care law

Missouri Republican believes the plan can't work

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer never has been a fan of the federal Affordable Care Act, which most people called “Obamacare.”

And he was one of the House Republicans who voted Friday to strip funding for the health care law from the resolution continuing government funding while Congress and the White House continue battling over what shape the federal budget will take.

In a statement Friday, Luetkemeyer said: “The American people, and in particular Missourians, have made it clear they both oppose Obamacare and support responsible government spending, and this legislation meets those requirements and attempts to get our country back on track.”

Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, said he hopes the House vote Friday brings the nation “one step closer to a full repeal of Obamacare and that the Senate and the president will finally put politics aside and do what’s right by accepting it in the best interests of all Americans.”

But the Democrats who control the U.S. Senate have said they won’t pass the House version.

And President Barack Obama said this week he would veto a resolution blocking funding of the health care law that has been a signature of his administration.

The controversial health care law is set to begin Jan. 1, and the health care exchanges it requires each state to have — so consumers can see differences in the company health plans or the private insurance policies that might be available to them — are to be active Oct. 1.

But, when Luetkemeyer was in Jefferson City on Monday, he told reporters the controversial health care law at least should be delayed a year.

“I don’t see how it cannot have more delays,” he explained, “from the standpoint that about half the rules are yet to be promulgated.

“It started out with 1,400 — he’s got 700 to go, so how can you implement a program without the rules in place to be able to administer the program?”

Although Obama still supports the health care law, Luetkemeyer thinks the administration would accept a one-year delay “in a heartbeat, from the standpoint that the media is going to rip them if they don’t do that — because the president has had so many delays and extensions in the different parts of his program. And we’ve repealed two or three parts of it, already.”

Luetkemeyer said he thinks “it would be folly” for Obama’s administration to fight a one-year delay.

“It’s going to be a huge embarrassment to the president when this thing falls apart at the beginning of the year,” the congressman said. “I think he’s looking for an opportunity to delay it. ...

“And by doing that, I think, we continue to have it discussed among the people and the citizens of this country. And everybody can see, more and more, every day, that it’s not something that’s going to work.”

He said the plan can’t work, because it requires too many young people to buy insurance coverage when they could save money just by paying the fine for not having a policy.

“The problem with the program is, it has so many inherent flaws in the way it’s designed that it’s not going to work,” Luetkemeyer said. “It just can’t work.”

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