Grassley on Baucus bill

(Hello, friends of The Blog.  I'm back from a brief vacation.)

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-New Hartford, Iowa) issued a statement early this morning (7:43 eastern) to complain about the "artificial deadline" that Grassley suggests has forced Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus to release his own health care reform bill this morning.  Here is a detailed summary of the Baucus bill, a link that's courtesy of Ben Smith of The Politico.  Baucus wrote an op-ed that appeared in this morning's Wall Street Journal.

In his statement, Grassley complained Republicans are being "pushed aside" by Democratic congressional leaders. Read Grassley's written statement below.

Senator Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Finance, released the following statement on health care reform negotiations among the six key members of the Finance Committee.

“Over the last several months the bipartisan group of six senators has worked diligently to develop a bipartisan bill for the Finance Committee to consider. 

“I applaud the efforts Chairman Baucus has made to provide a venue for us to work together toward bipartisan legislation that we all can support, and we’ll continue to work with him and Senators Conrad and Bingaman — and any other members interested in real bipartisan reforms — as the process moves forward.  

“Unfortunately, we’re operating under an artificial deadline set by the Democratic leadership and the White House.  I’m disappointed because it looks like we’re being pushed aside by the Democratic leadership so the Senate can move forward on a bill that, up to this point, does not meet the shared goals for affordable, accessible health coverage that we set forth when this process began. In addition to concerns about costs to taxpayers and affordability for individuals, there are still some serious outstanding issues that have yet to be resolved like preventing taxpayer funding of abortion services and the enforcement against subsidies for illegal aliens. I have also pressed for alternatives to the individual mandate and ways to lower the overall cost of the bill, as well as tougher medical liability reform measures. 

“On top of all that, there’s no guarantee that a Finance Committee bill, even if it becomes bipartisan, will stay that way after it leaves the committee.  An overriding issue for some time has been the fact that members of the Democratic leadership haven’t made a commitment to back a broad bipartisan bill through the entire process.

“We’ve been clear from the start that we’re willing to stay at the table.  There’s no reason not to keep working until we get it right.  In the end, legislation that impacts every American should have strong bipartisan support.”

During a town hall meeting in Adel in August, Grassley talked about the work of the "Gang of Six." Here is an excerpt of the blog post from that day.

"We may never have a bill, or after Labor Day, you could have the Democrats deciding to go ahead on their own," Grassley told the crowd, saying his participation in the bipartisan negotiations had stopped that Democrats-only approach  "…If (Democrats) do go ahead (on their own), this is what I fear.  They get done what they want, they're going to change our health care system forever. You understand I feel a little bit like the boy sticking his finger in the dike, trying to stop the ocean from coming in…If I had not been at the table, there would have been a bill through the (Senate Finance) Committee the week of June 22 and it would have been through the senate by now because there's 60 Democrats so I think that I have, by sticking my finger in the dike, I've  had an opportunity to give the grassroots of America an opportunity to speak up as you're seeing every day on television and I think that's a good thing."

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About O.Kay Henderson

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


  1. It appears that Senator Grassley is up to the same old tricks that he used when he was in the Iowa Legislature. I was a public interest lobbyist during four sessions of the legislature when Mr. Grassley was a representative there.
    It was impossible to get a straight answer from him then just as it is now. However, there is no doubt that his aim is to sink any health care reform that doesn’t benefit the insurance industry. The proposal of the Senate Finance Committee which Senator Grassley helped to form is the biggest cash give away to the insurance industry ever invented. It mandates three very expensive changes to all health insurance policies sold in the U.S. and then requires that everyone must have insurance. Covering people with pre-existing conditions, removing caps on total insurance coverage, and not allowing termination of coverage will all cause increases in health insurance premiums. So, all insurance companies will increase their rates, then the public will be asked to subsidize the premiums of lower income families and persons who can’t afford the higher premiums. It’s just like his support of repealing the personal property taxes in Iowa in 1973 sounded good to his constituents, but it in fact raised real property taxes. Just like the personal property tax issue, the Senate Finance committee approach is a cheap trick and will create the biggest tax paid windfall for the health insurance industry in our history. So recognize Senator Grassley’s efforts for what they are;a black widow approach to legislation. He’ll embrace it and embrace it until he kills it or empties our treasury by gifting billions and billions to the health insurance companies.
    The health reform bill America needs is House Resolution 3200. That bill mandates the same reforms in health insurance policies, but makes sure no tax money is spent on abortions, directly prohibits covering illegal aliens, closes the “doughnut hole” in the Medicare drug program, and creates an insurance exchange with the public option to help hold down health insurance premiums.

  2. Yes, wasn’t that the plan to begin with…it was to distribute all the wealth of the rich..and you know, Hollywood people have all their lawyers so they don’t get hitched (pay high taxes) so who is left, we, the middle class…so then we barely make it…Well, we can think who??? You guess!!! Tax increase by our lovely government. Thanks a lot.