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. Marlene

    If you believe that, Sen. Grassley has some land in the swamp in Florida he wants to sell you!

    August 19, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. Aunt Bea and Opie

    200,000 people die each year from mistakes made by doctors,nurses and hospitals.Its a fact they dont want you to know,WHY?lets get to the bottom of these mistakes.NO tort till we do find out.

    August 19, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. John in WV

    If health care reform is so big and important, why didn't Grassley and the repubs pass their version of reform 8 years ago? They had the votes. They had the money to pay for it and they would have had bi-partisan support. They also had a president who said he was a "uniter not a devider". They have the chance to do it again. They want bi-partisan solutions but how many of them have been willing to cross the aisle.

    August 19, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. carlo

    Grassley just called the Democrats "intellectually dishonest". This was after he lied through his teeth about the nonexistent "death panels" and after saying that he wouldn't support a bill he wrote if Republicans in the Senate wouldn't vote for it. Grassley knows that Fox and his underhanded cohorts have created an environment with their lies that make it impossible for any Republican Congressman or Congresswoman to support the bill.

    August 19, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. addon

    Sen (Snidley Wiplash) Grassley needs to give it break. We've seen his "hold card".....keep the Healthcare Reform bill in limbo til it dies a quiet death. The GOP will never vote for anything that goes against their wallets. PULL – E – EASE !

    Isn't it time we started spending money on americans as opposed to burning it up in the Iraq dessert?

    August 19, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. annie s

    Bull. Do it without them Dems – we need TRUE reform, not a bill that will just allow the private insurers to make more money.

    August 19, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. annie s

    To the people screaming for tort reform instead of real health reform. We already have tort reform in Florida – didn't bring malpractice premiums down one plug nickel. But then that's an inconvenient truth to Republicans, so they don't want you to know that.

    August 19, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. geecee

    This gutless wonder can't even stand up to a bunch of stupid hecklers at a town hall meeting and set them straight on the "death panels" nonsense, without saying "I wont' let them pull the plug on granny". What a dope. Instead of refuting the lies that are constantly disseminated by the right-wing media nutjobs like Beck and Limppig, he just feeds into the sickness by repeating the nonsense instead of refuting it. And ths guy is a Congressman? No wonder the country is in such a mess.

    August 19, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. eolufemi

    The republicans had 8 years to contribute something substantive to the American people. They decided to use their time wasting the surplus on a completely unnecessary and unproductive war in Iraq. Now they claim they agree with "health reform" as long as it doesn't cost the insurance company anything and consumer protection is eroded through so called tort reform. They have no credibility and should not even be included in the discussion. This should be a debate amongst the independents, conservative democrats and progressives. As we can all agree that regulating the insurance industry whereby they can no longer drop people from coverage, deny coverage, or bankrupt families, the only thing left to debate is what mechanism will be used to create competition while driving down costs. Personally, I'm more comfortable with government backed program that can garauntee affordable rates through subsidies. But I can support a "co-op" if in fact it's highly subsidized and there's some way to funnel money into as necessary to make it affordable for the working poor and working class that so choose to enroll.

    Obama get it done.

    August 19, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. Dave

    Do any Liberals know how to read & understand plain english when it's spoken? Republicans all agree that we need Health Insurance reform and have proposed many good ideas in the House & Senate – even the choosen one has stated as much.

    What Americans do not agree with is a Government ONLY run Health Care system that would be disastorious for our great country and send us sprialing into bankruptcy. That's it – this is the ONLY thing where we disagree.

    August 19, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. Rich

    If Medicare is so great with it's 4% administrative costs, why is it going bankrupt like social security and the USPS?

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

    And one more thing – all you Obama haters can revel in the fact that he is losing ground in the polls, most likely because he isn't speaking out about all the lies that are being spread by the right-wing nutjobs, but its not like the Rethuglicons are exactly gaining ground either. You are so far down you have to look up at your feet!! Bunch of goons and hooligans is what you are.

    August 19, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. LiLa

    As the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee working on a health care reform bill, isn't it his duty to try to craft a plan and then work towards gaining Republican support? Please do your job Sen. Grassley. Overwhelmingly, Americans want health care reform. Get it done!

    August 19, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. Tina

    Impromptu poll (CNN should love it) – I support the Public Option wholeheartedly!!!

    I think those who support it have shied away from the debate due to the loudmouths out there claiming that they "want their America back." This is my America too, and I want to provide for everyone, down to the poorest member of society. A society is judged by how they treat their most needy members. Shame on us for not doing this years and years ago. And shame on the republicans for sitting on their rears the last 8 years (or six, if you want to get technical and scream about it) and only now that it is in the spotlight do they say something needs to be done.

    August 19, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. Claudia in Houson

    Whether Republican, Democrat or Independent these politicians know less than the general public about healthcare because they are all fully insured so do you think they really care whether healthcare reform passes or not. You be the judge, research the staggering cost of ER visits for the uninsured, it will make your your head is spin in disbelief. FACT.

    August 19, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. JS007

    Whatever Grassley, no one is buying your lies. Republicans only pretended to negotiate in hopes of drowning the bill in delays and stripping one by one the good parts of it, like the public option. Go back to reading your Glen Beck books and worrying about death panels. Idiot.

    August 19, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. Texas Pioneer

    The GOP wants Health Care on their terms.
    A broad base support????
    In case the spineless Democrats haven't noticed you are getting tooled around by the nose.
    I thought the compromise for health care was a public option instead of Universal Health Care.
    Instead what we are getting is the Insurance Company victory and a one term President.

    August 19, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. Ah,so

    Typical lib actions, let's rush it through and then we'll try to dig ourselves out of the hole later. Except this hole will be so deep, we"ll be able to talk to china face to face, as they will own this country by the time this admin gets through.

    August 19, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  19. Richie

    SINGLE PAYER NOW! I know everyone loves to hate it, but this is the only way to cut down the 35% overhead we currently have. Take the money employers have been paying for health insurance (just the basics) and convert it to taxes. Use that to pay for basic coverage for all. Let the health insurance companies over any number of add-on plans for those that can afford more than the basic covereage.

    August 19, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  20. Forget the GOPs

    Latest poll shows that as bad as dems are doing on health care, GOPs haven't picked up support. Only 20% of the population trusts them to reform it. They have zero credibility - no need to cut a deal with them. Let's do what's best for the citizens/patients, NOT the insurance companies.

    August 19, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. OldUncleTom

    I agree about the "broad-based support". What I don't believe any more is whether broad-based support needs Republican participation. They are only around 1/4 of the population now, and show little evidence of growing larger than that anytime soon. They kicked themselves to the curb in 2006, into the storm drain in 2008, and should be about halfway out to sea by now.

    August 19, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. Luke

    Sure, Chuck, sure.

    August 19, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. Republicans are the American Taliban

    The government requires that everyone have auto insurance and the Republicans seem to have no problem with that. The Republicans do not want all Americans to have health insurance.....

    August 19, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. J.C. - Independent & Insured

    What deal is there to be made? For the medical-industry complex or for the people? Senator Grassley just doesn't get it.

    August 19, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  25. Pam

    No republican has any credibiliity anymore. They are ignorant and mean-spirited and liars. They're against health insurance for US, but they have the best government-run insurance there is. As usual, republicans are hypocrites and liars. Who cares what they think?

    August 19, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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