Grassley tosses “dishonest” label right back at Obama

This weekend President Obama said Republicans who have compared end-of-life counseling coverage that's in a House health care reform bill are being "dishonest." Read the background here. Today during a conference call with Iowa radio reporters, Grassley accused Obama of being "dishonest."

Grassley was asked if he was dishonest (as the president alleged on Saturday) for suggesting government coverage of end-of-life counseling (as outlined in the House bill) might lead to "pulling the plug on grandma."

"No, the people saying that are dishonest because if you go back and read what that says in 2003, it was all related to pain and hospice and that sort of care and it dealt only with hospice and it had nothing to do with saving money.  It had to do with taking care of the sick, so that vote has nothing to do with what is going on now in the Pelosi bill, that, this end of life counseling has everything to do with cutting down on medical costs at end of life and that relationship is what scares people.  That relationship is such that if you are going to have this counseling at the end of life and it's connected with it, that brings up reminders of what goes on in a lot of countries that have nationalized health insurance and you see a lot less care given to people who are older than younger.

"I'm quite an advocate for living wills and I'm an advocate for thinking these things through and, in fact, we have one in our family, but the point is it needs to be done in the family.  It needs to be done a long time before you're in the hospital wondering whether you're going to live or die and it needs to be done unrelated to the economy of health care expenditures and the motivations for what happened in2003 is entirely different than the motivations that are going on in the Pelosi bill.

And then, secondly, I think that all of this uproar is nothing more than an effort of this administration to distract from what's wrong with the Pelosi bill. For instance, it's not deficit-neutral. It adds to our ballooning national debt that's going to triple under this administration from 40 percent of Gross National Product to 80 percent of Gross National Product and the interest is going to triple and then you've also got the fact that it's got the public option and it's going to lead to the nationalization of health care in America, the federal government running everything and that's what the Pelosi bill is all about and the administration can't defend it, so they go to the countryside and attack private insurance and attack anybody that's critical of their end of life part of that bill." 

Listen to those comments transcribed above (MP3 runs 3 min)..

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.