Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), a staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act, is encouraging his uninsured constituents to take advantage of the law and sign-up for health care coverage when the new marketplaces open next Tuesday, putting himself at odds with lawmakers in his own party.
In an interview with the News Leader, Blunt criticized the law, but argued that it could serve as an option for those without coverage:
Blunt said the exchanges would be “nowhere near ready” to open on Tuesday. But he said uninsured Missourians still should figure out how to get coverage.
“The exchanges are there, people need insurance,” he said.
State Republican lawmakers in Missouri are actively trying to undermine reform and have explicitly refused to oversee Obamacare’s most basic and popular protections, such as barring insurers from denying coverage to Americans with pre-existing medical conditions and discriminating against women on the basis of gender. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has even actively discouraged Missourians from signing up for insurance.
Fourteen percent of Missourians are currently uninsured. According to premium averages released by the Department of Health and Human Services, “a 27-year-old Missourian earning $25,000 annually will pay roughly $87 a month for the lowest-cost plan after using the tax credits.”