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. Jim, San Antonio

    The Republicans don't want to cooperate at all. They want healthcare reform, Obama, and the country to fail so they can win the next election.

    August 19, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  2. Sam's Nemesis

    Great idea 'bout coming up with a plan for people who don't have healthcare not a complete takeover of the economy .

    Wish the Democraps could think straight about healthcare instead of the convoluted synapse-wasting thoughts that wander through the empty thing on their shoulders..........usually called a head.

    God save the USA

    August 19, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. Ren from Baltimore

    Sen Grassley,

    You are too late, too weak, and no longer adequately slippery of tongue. Looking back over the past month or two, it is clear you never intended to negotiate or seek any type of bipartisan agreement.

    You have served your state well. It is time to go and enjoy that beautiful state and its wonderful people, but no as a Senator.

    We need to go it alone, as you and Kyl have demonstrated so clearly.


    August 19, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. alvino

    It is time to ". . .pull the plug . . ." on Grassley. He has stalled meaningful health care reform talks, and is now worried that the big bucks he gets from the health care industry may be in jeopardy if the democrats go it alone. Just say "No!" to Grassley.

    August 19, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. Susan

    I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but the government runs the VA system quite well, and the only reason Medicaid is in trouble at all is because of Bush's underfunded drug program. The medical care itself is quite good in both programs, and even the seniors that Palin and others have scared to death are out there yelling, "Keep your hands off my Medicare." The government must be doing something right with that. Or didn't you thugs realize that the government ran those programs? (And your parents' social security too.) We need this!

    August 19, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Sean

    It's hard to "develop broad-based support" for it when people like Grassley are out there perpetuating the myth of the so-called "death panels". He has repeatedly reassured crowds who believe this ridiculous rumor that they have every reason to be afraid, and yet he has the nerve to claim he's in search of bipartisanship? Give me a break.

    August 19, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. MT

    All you Democrats are correct its only the Republicans who receive donations from Insurance companies.

    Its all the Republicans fault for everything, the war, your job losses, the Housing crisis, the welfare lines, and on and on....

    Unless YOUR beloved representative from either party is willing to opt for the "public option" they vote on your behalf for, I'll opt to keep my own insurance – thank you

    For all the other worthless welfare ticks you can always get what you pay for, its a long standing working mans principle!

    August 19, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  8. Jane/Seattle

    UNIVERSAL SINGLE PAYER IS THE ONLY WAY TO ENTER THE 21ST CENTURY. These capitalists just refuse to see the forest for the trees, but then again, they see it all perfectly well. Like Bob Dylan said: " gotta serve somebody..." We all know who our government serves, don't we? I do not expect much change, but I sure want to feel the Hope that we (of good common sense) will prevail. Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders Rock!

    August 19, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. kapinatlanta

    Grassley is a nut job! If there really was a "death panel" on the plan to take out the elderly like he lied about., then be afraid Sen. Grassley your name might be at the top of the list. I wonder if the plan will cover frontal lobe lobotomy, because he surely could use one.

    August 19, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  10. DC Insider

    I find it interesting that one of Obama's Health Care Policy advisors used to believe in "Death Panels" and "rationing health care." But has stated that he has seen the light and doesn't believe in it...except a few cases. I am really concerned about this Health Care Bill. Has anyone on here ACTUALLY read it? I see lots of hate coming from the far left and the far right, but nobody has really reviewed the bill.

    What I did notice was that Obama said I COULD keep my existing health insurance, but what if my employer switches coverage after the overhaul. In the long run, I think I may be worse off, since I can't control who my employer switches to, and they may be incentivized to cut costs.

    August 19, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. luis masson

    after watching these town hall meetings on health care it is more than obvious that we need more mental health care for these people ,if they had a relative with a terminal illness with no health care they would not be shouting all their ignorant comments , i say PASS A 5 CENT A GALLON ON FUEL TO COVER THE EXTRA EXPENSE FOR A GOVERMENT OPTION LET ALL THE OTHER FOOLS OVERPAY FOR THEIR HEALTH CARE

    August 19, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. normajean

    Give it up Grassley, you are a loser.

    August 19, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. Sheryl

    Mr. President can you please assure myself and all Americans that we will reform HealthCare with a Pubic Option this year with or without the Republican support this year? We must reform our HealthCare and have a Pubic Option….Thank you!!


    August 19, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  14. concerned in tx

    By the way what is happening with the bailout money? I would have rather of helped pay off mortage payments than fund banks. It 's unfortunate that

    In my opinion, cost of health care that an insurance company can charge should be resolved before the government attempts to do anything with taxpayer money.

    Out of pocket costs to individuals should also be capped.

    Also, I just want to olny be taxed for myself and my family and possibly some individuals that have been recently unemployed and are currently looking for work and have a good work history, but not for any welfare freeloaders or illegals. Can I opt out if I don't like it? Most insurance companies allow opt out programs.

    August 19, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. phoenix mattress

    the health care reform package as it has been presented to the american people cannot possibly work. what needs to happen for health care reform to actually have an opportunity to succeed in america is for the bills in congress to have far more citizen input, even to the point of starting local health care reform commissions to get proper feedback from the american public.

    August 19, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. Clint

    Just pass it and say to bad.

    August 19, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. Post always rejected by CNN

    Oh yeah, and we will soon being buying one dollar tickets to visit Hawaii.

    August 19, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  18. Dave

    Like the Native American say this man speaks with a folk tougue. If I'm the Dems I would tell him thanks but No thanks.

    August 19, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. demwit

    When I run out of money, I have not other option than to stop spending..

    August 19, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  20. Libertarian

    ALLLL of a sudden guys like him are trying to take credit for parts of this bill. Notice how he refers to back-dated comments he made. He KNOWS this bill is what the MAJORITY of Americans want. You're starting to see more Repubs coming forward with similar statements like "I told the President back in May that I supported his plan if he made X or Y simple change". Their scare tactics didn't work and now they are planning to take credit for the bill any way they can. I'm tired of this BS.

    August 19, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |

    Baloney. grassley rymes with...

    He and the gop want this to fail so they can point fingers. No matter that millions would continue to be unable to go to the doctor, or that the nation will remain non competitive because f health care costs, or that hundreds of thousands of Americans will go bankrupt from medical bills. Just so long as they can make America fail the republicons are doing their party agenda. They have said so publicly, and it iks one of the few things they have ever said that I believe.

    August 19, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. nea

    No Sen. Grassely you are not if that was the case you would be firm and not be going back and forth on this the democrats donot need your support if they want they can do it without you or any other Republicans. We will get health care reform whether you like it or not.

    August 19, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. RealityKing

    Obama doesn't care what Grassley thinks. He has 51 votes, and a progressively liberal solution.

    August 19, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. Edward

    Republicans don't want reform, none of them will vote for it unless it will be completely ineffective so stop compromising and go it alone. If the Republicans were in power do you think they'd be interested in bipartisanship?

    August 19, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. Lue Blackwell

    Why would anyone believe this man-he is definitely "playing both sides to the middle"-he is more like a slimy snake-but I will give the snake more credit than him!!!!

    August 19, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
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