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Grassley Defends ‘Pull The Plug On Grandma’ Comments: Palin Said It First!

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"Grassley Defends ‘Pull The Plug On Grandma’ Comments: Palin Said It First!"

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Last month, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was widely criticized for saying that Americans “have every right to fear” the end-of-life counseling provisions in the House health care bill. “We should not have a government program that determines if you’re going to pull the plug on grandma,” Grassley said during a town hall in Iowa.

This morning on C-SPAN, Grassley defended his statement by arguing that “there is another political leader, higher up in the hierarchy that used that than I did” and suggested that if Americans “connect several dots,” it would become obvious that the bill could euthanize seniors:

Well, there is another political leader, higher up in the hierarchy that used that than I did…And then the Washington Post, or some newspaper later on said something about Sarah Palin. Well, Sarah Palin said that presumably before I said it…But if you figure, if you connect several dots, you got, the concern about saving money in this health care bill, you’ve got the concern about a public option leading to a government run health care plan, and then you got the Veterans Administration putting out a book saying that all of the doctors have to deal with end of life issues for everyone that is in that system, and then you’ve got all of that put together. And quite frankly, between government running everything and paying a doctor to give that advise, everybody figures that the government is going to be in the middle of end of life issues just like they are in England, as an example.

Watch it:

In reality, the so-called ‘death panel provision,’ Section 1233 of the House Tri Committee bill, would allow Medicare to reimburse providers for consulting with patients about end-of-life issues; nothing in the section mandates a consultation. In fact, the provision builds on President Bush’s efforts to expand Medicare coverage to “counseling the beneficiary with respect to end-of-life issues and care options” for terminally ill patients. In 2003, Grassley voted in favor of the provision as part of Bush’s Medicare drug bill.

The Wonk Room has compiled a list of Grassley’s most egregious misrepresentations and will continue monitoring and fact checking Grassley’s statements throughout the reform process. Read the full document HERE.

Transcript:

Well, there is another political leader, higher up in the hierarchy that used that than I did. And if it was wrong for him to use it, then it was wrong for me to use it. But here is, I bet if you saw on television just that statement that I made, you would think I was giving a speech inflaming the whole issue. And then the Washington Post, or some newspaper later on said something about Sarah Palin. Well, Sarah Palin said that presumably before I said it about the death boards. But I never used the word and I wasn’t aware of her doing it until one of the press people asked me.

So I was in a town hall meeting, in Winterset, Iowa, and a person stands up, like you could stand up now, and get off the internet a copy of the House bill and you read what it says there. Now what it says there is well intentioned, well intentioned…I don’t agree with how they’re doing it, but I spoke out against end of life stuff in our Finance Committee over the last several months. So it was nothing new for me to say that I don’t want the government involved in it. I want the family involved in it. So I answered it that way. But if you figure, if you connect several dots, you got, the concern about saving money in this health care bill, you’ve got the concern about a public option leading to a government run health care plan, and then you got the Veterans Administration putting out a book saying that all of the doctors have to deal with end of life issues for everyone that is in that system, and then you’ve got all of that put together. And quite frankly, between government running everything and paying a doctor to give that advise, everybody figures that the government is going to be in the middle of end of life issues just like they are in England, as an example.

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