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SPECIAL REPORT

GrassleyWatch: Tracking Grassley’s Efforts To Obstruct Health Care Reform

By Igor Volsky  

"GrassleyWatch: Tracking Grassley’s Efforts To Obstruct Health Care Reform"

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Grassley’s Fearmongering:

- Government Will Pull Plug On Grandma: “There is some fear because in the House bill, there is counseling for end-of-life, And from that standpoint, you have every right to fear….We should not have a government program that determines if you’re going to pull the plug on grandma.” [8/12/2009]

- Uses Kennedy’s Brain Tumor To Spread Fear Of Rationing: “I’ve been told that the brain tumor that Sen. Kennedy has — because he’s 77 years old — would not be treated the way it’s treated in the United States. In other words, he would not get the care he gets here because of his age.” [8/5/2009]

- Reform Will Place Bureaucrats In Charge: “PTL BluDogs Keep barkin Pelosie bill is Govt takeovr of healthCare Breaks Obama promise”keep what u hv” Puts Wash Burocrats in chrg MUSTSTOP.” [@ChurckGrassley, 7/24/2009]

Grassley Hung Up On Process, Not Substance:

- Reform Must Pass With 80 Votes: “It ought to be from 80 people in the center of the Senate, I would think.” [7/22/2009]

- Will Only Vote For Reform With Four Other Republicans: “I’m negotiating for Republicans and if I can’t negotiate something that gets more than four Republicans, I’m not a very good representative of my party.” [8/17/2009]

- Bipartisanship Means ‘No Public Option’: Asked “what needs to be in” a health care reform bill “for it to be bipartisan,” Grassley declared, “We need to make sure that there’s no public option.” [6/24/2009]

- Loses Patience With Democrats: Grassley told National Review Online that “he’s losing patience with Democrats, who earlier this week signaled that they were ready to abandon hopes for a compromise.” “I won’t walk away,” Grassley said, “but if I’m pushed away, I’ll be on the Senate floor trying to kill bad amendments and get good amendments adopted.” [8/19/2009]

- Recommends Scaling Back Bill As ‘Natural Outcome’ Of Town Halls: Grassley told the Washington Post that the Finance Committee group is still discussing a “comprehensive” plan, but revisiting that approach would be “a natural outcome of what people may be getting from the town hall meetings.” [8/20/2009]

- Claims He Hasn’t Said Anything New During August Recess: Asked if there is hope for a bipartisan deal, Grassley said “I haven’t said anything new since we adjourned for the summer break that I’ve been saying for the last three months. So for the White House to draw any conclusions other than what I’ve told the president right to his face…” [8/20/2009]

- Claims He Won’t Vote For ‘Imperfect’ Health Care Bill: “Now is the time to do this right or not do it.”…”We need to slow down and do a little less,” Mr. Grassley told another town-hall gathering in Pocahontas, Iowa, Monday afternoon. “We need to fix what’s broken and leave alone what’s working well.” In an interview, he vowed not to vote for an “imperfect bill” that includes a public option or gives the government too much control over end-of-life issues. [WSJ, 8/25/2009]

- Deficit Projections Require Smaller Reform Package: Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, one of three Senate Republicans negotiating on health care, said the soaring federal budget deficit “puts a stake in the heart” of $1 trillion measures being debated in Congress….“It’s going to have a big impact on whether I’ll even support something,” he said at a town-hall meeting yesterday in Le Mars, Iowa….Still, he said, a forecast by the Congressional Budget Office that deficits between 2010 and 2019 will total $7.1 trillion calls for a more-limited measure than the $900 billion bill the bipartisan group was discussing last month. “We’re going to be looking at smaller numbers,” he said. The deficit projection also dooms $1 trillion measures already moving through the House and approved by the Senate health committee, Grassley said. [Bloomberg, 8/27/2009]

- Not Sure If Senate Finance Committee Can Reach A Deal: Asked whether he thought the six Democratic and Republican negotiators on the committee would be able to cut a deal when Congress returns from its summer recess next month, Grassley replied: “If you asked me that on Aug. 6, I would have said yes, I think so, September. But you’re asking me on Aug. 27 and you’ve got the impact of democracy in America. Everybody’s showing up at town meetings.” [Kaiser Health News, 8/28/2009]

Grassley, A Proud Obstructionist:

- Proud To Obstruct Health Reform: “I take pride with being an obstructionist,” he said, if that means scuttling a public option that could lead to a single-payer system. [7/6/2009]

- Nonsensically Attacking Obama: “Pres Obama while u sightseeing in Paris u said ‘time to delvr on health care’ When you are “hammer” u think everything is NAIL I’m no NAIL.” [@ChuckGrassley, 6/7/2009]

- Tells Constituents To Work For Government: Asked during a town hall — “Okay, so how come I can’t have the same thing you have?” Grassley said, “You can. Just go work for the federal government.” [7/3/2009]

- Lying Is ‘The Only Way’ To Get Attention: Asked what he thought of falsehoods spread about comparative effectiveness research and electronic medical records, Grassley replied “I think they ought to hype them right now because people’s attention needs to be brought to it, and that’s the only way you’re going to get their attention.” [3/19/2009]

- Sends Fundraiser To Defeat ObamaCare: “I’m sure you’ve been following this issue closely. If the legislation sponsored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the House of Representatives and Chairman Ted Kennedy in the Senate is passed it would be a pathway to a government takeover of the health care system. lt would turn over control of your health care decisions to a federal bureaucrat … and take it away from you and your personal physician. It would mean government rationing in the name of cost controls. [Letter, 8/09]