Grassley: GOP will take ‘blame’ if we don’t pass health care.

Many conservatives are viewing the health care debate as a personal political battle against Obama, claiming health care reform could be the president’s “Waterloo” and advising that GOP members of Congress “resist the temptation” to work with Democrats and instead “go for the kill.” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is offering the opposite advice. “If we don’t do something on health-care reform,” Grassley said, “the voters are more apt to blame Republicans than Democrats.” Grassley also expressed his disagreement with the Republican Party of Iowa, which called health care reform an “experiment Iowa cannot afford.” “I would suggest there have been some Republicans who haven’t been looking at the polls,” Grassley said in a weekly conference call with Iowa reporters, in which he announced he would continue to seek a bipartisan bill:

He referred to a poll showing voters would assign blame 30 percent to the health industry, 22 to Republicans, 11 percent to Democrats and only 4 percent to Obama.

“So it seems to me that we have a responsibility to the Republican Party not to be seen as destroying or at least not talking about things that people believe are wrong with the present health-care system,” Grassley said.

Yesterday, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) announced he was taking himself out of bipartisan group of Finance Committee members drafting the health care bill. Left in the group are Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Mike Enzi (R-WY), and Grassley.