August 19th, 2009
01:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Grassley insists he's still looking to make a health care deal

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, dismissed Democratic criticism Wednesday that it increasingly appears he doesn't want any health care deal at all - a key point Democrats have been making to justify the possibility of going it alone, without GOP votes.

"I've said all year that something as big and important as health care legislation should have broad-based support," Grassley told CNN. "So far, no one has developed that kind of support, either in Congress or at the White House. That doesn't mean we should quit. It means we should keep working until we can put something together that gets that widespread support."

Top Democrats close to the White House have told CNN the Obama administration is looking hard at pushing through a health-care reform bill without Republican backing.

UPDATE, 1 p.m.: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus released a statement Wednesday saying negotiations remained on track.

"Bipartisan progress continues," said Baucus. "The Finance Committee is on track to reach a bipartisan agreement on comprehensive health care reform that can pass the Senate. Our group will be meeting tomorrow and our staffs continue to meet as well. I am confident we will continue our steady progress toward health care reform that will lower costs and provide quality, affordable coverage to all Americans."

Filed under: Charles Grassley • Health care
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    The French have the #1 healthcare system in the world, the U.S. has #37. I would like what the French have, and if I can't have it, please let me have the insurance Congress has. End of story.

    August 19, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. IndyVoter

    Oh, pllleease!! They have put together bills that should appeal to both sides, but the GOP REFUSES! The reason the bills dont appear to have "broad-based" support is because Grassley, his flunkies and the insurance industry has been working overtime trying to scare and confuse people with death panels, unplug grandma, and other assanine comments and lies! We took single payer off the table and gave you an opportunity to go public option and now co-ops. Now you say you won't even vote for that! FORGET YOU Grassley (and any other Republican or Blue Dog Dem who wants to block health care reform). We will get it done with or without you!

    August 19, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Sorry Republicans commenting on here, if the Repubicans wanted to Reform Health Care with would have did it the 8 years they were in office. REPUBICANS HAVE NO PLAN ON REFORMING THE HEALTH CARE BECAUSE THEY LIKE IT THE WAY IT IS AND MANY OF THEM HAVE AL READY ADMITTED.

    August 19, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. m jeff

    Grassley is bought and paid for, he has no plans to reform healthcare, he only cares about his greedy Republican friends.

    August 19, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Grassley is a liar and a fate. Why didn't he debunk the DEATH PANEL?

    August 19, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. DonnaLee

    Sure Grassley wants pizza.

    He dosen't want any toppings, or cheese, or sauce, or even the crust ... But he wants pizza.

    Maybe Grassley's pizza mores closely resemble a MEATLOAF.

    August 19, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Georgette

    This Grassley is a pathetic old liar. Here's hoping he goes away and lets others who actually care about the future of this country carry the health reform torch.

    August 19, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. They call me "Tater Salad"

    I think the people of this country should speak in simple enough terms that even our retarded and corrupt government officials can understand! Ya know?Something along the lines of, "vote no and out you go" or "no public option for us"? "No re-election or political future for you"!! Choose wisely!!!

    August 19, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. Chas

    Republicans are becoming more and more irrelevant. They have become a vast bunch of nothings.

    August 19, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. Amanda Goode

    uhhh...excuse me...Senator Grassley...but polling indicates there is broad-based support for a PUBLIC OPTION...(some polls as high as 76%) why don't you guys just quit trying to muddy the debate with all this bull-crap about death-panels and do what we sent you all there to do....GIVE THE INSURANCE COMPANIES SOME ACTUAL COMPETITION...right now,,,insurance companies have 30% administrative cost (nearly 1 out of every 3 dollars we give them) while Medicaid had 4% administrative costs...GET OFF THE INSURANCE COMPANY GRAVY TRAIN SIR...

    August 19, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "Tort Reform"

    Translation: Stop making medical malpractice insurers pay for their insured's mistakes!

    It's not just health care insurers that have these GOP rope-a-dopes in their pockets.

    August 19, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. Stevv/Denver

    Grassley is looking out for his greedy Republican cohorts.

    August 19, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. jfs Memhis, Tn

    A"DEAL" is when two sides make an agreement that will be in the best interests of our citizens. The trick here TWO sides have an agreement. Unfortunately the good Sen. Grassley has only the conservative side's perspective. The party of NO will never come to terms with the public need.........a government option. The Dem's are going to have to do this on their own. The Republicans can pay the price in 2010 and 2012.....if the can remain a national party that long.

    August 19, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Get Real

    Chuck Grassley has received over $2 million dollars in donation as from the health and insurance industries since 2003. In June of this year, the mortgage. insurance and finance lobbyists hosted a fundraising event for him, not long after he voted in opposition to a bill to let courts renegotiate the terms of mortgages in bankruptcy proceedings. At his townhall meeting in Winterset Iowa a few days ago, he brought his personal copy of Glenn Beck's book "Common Sense" along to pass it on to someone else.

    The evidence is clear about Mr. Grassley...he is in the pockets of the corporate lobbyists and supports the lunatic fringe...

    August 19, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. Ben in Arizona

    This topic is a huge issue, and reform means drastic changes. I want my elected officials to take a very pragmatic approach to it and to get broad-based support.

    Anyone who doesn't want open and honest discussions, but wants to push it through by sheer force makes me very nervous. We have those, on both sides of the aisle, that have other motives for their actions. But what kind of country are we becoming when anyone who raises doubts or concerns is decried as worse than Satan? Or, those who push for HCR and express their support is conversely compared to Stalin?

    What happened to the exchange of ideas? I'm not worried about health care, I'm worried that our country is on a path to tear itself apart because of this greater polarization of "Democrat" and "Republican".

    August 19, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  16. Ron Mosher

    Yeah sure you do buddy. I think all of you in the government should lose your healthcare. Bet you'd get off you ass then wouldn't you. Republican Party = The Party of NO

    August 19, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. vegage

    These republicans are torpedoing the health reform. And the only people that are heard are the ones that are just too ignorant that they do not know what they are talking about. They are just saying what they are told to say. If USA has the best health insurance system in the world, why we are the no. 30 in the world in life expectancy? We are not the number 1 like many people believe. I was once in Spain and had an accident, I was taken to the emergency room, the treatment was excellent and I had to pay zero money. What I saw in Spain is that the kind of system I want for my country.

    August 19, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  18. Jeff Brown

    What do you care Chuck? You have publicly financed health care, unlike the rest of us. Go plow a corn field you greedy, old hick...

    August 19, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. Linda

    The Republicans tipped their hand and have made it clear that they will continue to be the party of no and wont support anything!! Oopsie....time for the Dems to man up (and women up) and push the reform throught without them, no more consessions to people who clearly don't want to play... The summer of fun and games is over....

    August 19, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. Peggy

    To all of you who think tort reform will solve the health care problem and reduce costs – think again. We have tort reform in Texas signed into law by then Gov. Geo. W Bush and we still have some of the highest insurance rates in the country.

    August 19, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  21. Angi's mom

    Grassley, where were you the last 8 years? That was plenty of time to pass bipartisan health insurance legislation...if you have any interest in it at all.

    August 19, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. Dick/NH

    Senator Grassley,

    Please turn in your MEDICARE card NOW !!!

    August 19, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. Laverne

    Senator Grassley is talking out the side of his neck and I hope the Obama adminstration does not trust him. This guy is an enemy in the camp, he has assured his republican colleagues this thing won't happen. I hope the Dems does bull doze their way through if Senator Grossley, Oh I mean Grassley does not come through with a reasonable plan. I do think it is time the White House and Dems in the House and Senate begin to play some hardball with these rethugicans. It is time to get right down and nasty if we have too!

    August 19, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. Tim

    The republicans do not want any kind of reform their answer is to just say no. It amazes me that all these people that talk about a government run healthcare option are the ones that already have insurance. That must be happy with their high preminums and lack of helathcare. If so you can keep it. Please look up the term option it is a choice and it will not be free. Grassley and the ones like him are just in bed with the insurance companies and the drug companies. Wake up people!

    August 19, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. Melissa

    Really. You mean "capitulate to the greedy Republicans because thats what they want, and it means they'll stop screaming at the top of their lungs like children, despite the fact that all they are doing is hurting things".

    Sorry, no.

    August 19, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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