GOP Senator Spars With Michelle Malkin On ‘Obamacare’

June 14, 2012 11:57 a.m.

In an ominous sign for tensions between conservatives and the GOP over ‘Obamacare,’ a Senate Republican leadership member sparred with a popular right-wing blogger on Twitter Thursday over whether to reinstate pieces of the health care reform law in a potential replacement plan.

It began with a blog post by Michelle Malkin fiercely criticizing the Republican members who have indicated willingness to include some popular pieces of the Affordable Care Act in a potential replacement plan if the Supreme Court scraps some or all of the law (they all insist on full repeal first).“These big-government Republicans show appalling indifference to the dire market disruptions and culture of dependency that Obamacare schemes have wrought,” Malkin wrote.

She called out Senate GOP Conference Vice Chair Roy Blunt (R-MO):

GOP Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, vice chair of the Senate GOP Conference, told a St. Louis radio station two weeks ago that he supports keeping at least three Obamacare regulatory pillars: federally imposed coverage of “children” up to age 26 on their parents’ health insurance policies (the infamous, unfunded “slacker mandate”), federally mandated coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions (“guaranteed issue,” which turns the very concept of insurance on its head and leads to an adverse-selection death spiral) and closure of the coverage gap in the massive Bush-backed Medicare drug entitlement (the “donut hole fix” that will obliterate the program’s cost-controls).

Blunt responded to her on Twitter, which led to sparring tweets between the two.

Malkin rejoined:

Blunt came back:

And then Malkin went off on him:

Blunt didn’t continue the Twitter debate, but his office clarified to TPM where he stands.

“Senator Blunt has unequivocally opposed ObamaCare since it was first introduced. He voted against the bill, he led efforts to repeal the law in the House, and he continues to fight in the Senate to repeal and replace it with common-sense, bipartisan solutions to lower costs and increase care for Missourians,” said his spokeswoman Amber Marchand via email.

“One of the health care solutions that Senator Blunt supports includes allowing young people up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ health insurance, which would help cover more Americans while managing costs,” Marchand wrote. “However, Senator Blunt does not support expensive so-called fixes to the donut hole or federally-mandated coverage for pre-existing conditions.”

The episode doesn’t bode well for relations between Republicans and their ideological base on this key issue. Top conservative groups aren’t happy, and given the power the base wields over the GOP, it puts party leaders in a tough spot if the Supreme Court overturn the health care law and leaves Republicans owning a broken system.

Added Malkin: “Who needs enemies when you’ve got Republican Surrenderists for Obamacare waiting in the wings?”

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