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. MJ

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I am really confused. First Obama had to have a Single-Payer System, than Public Option, next it wasn't a deal-breaker .. only to say "Whoops". Misspoke and wants to take it back (let's call it Co-Op). Can't wait for tomorrows episode. He still has never answered how WE are going to pay for this.

    August 19, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. RR

    I thought the democrats had a filibuster proof majority, so why worry about the GOP filibuster?

    Every GOP member of the senate can vote against something, and the dems STILL have enough votes to pass it, so why the nuclear option?
    Remember when democrats in '00-'06 were complainingag abouto the GOP wanting to get around filibusters? Can you say hypocricy?

    President Obama talked long and often about bi-partisanship and a new tone in DC, now his aides are doing a 180. another broken promise by Obama?

    August 19, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |

    It's very simple!!!

    If you have healthcare now and you want to keep, you will keep it.

    If you do not have health care and you want and need it, you get health care.

    The Veterans will keep their health care and, in fact, get better health care for themselves and their family.

    The republicans are morons. NOTE – they have health care. Do you?

    August 19, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. Jon

    So far the Republicans are all talk on this issue. All of their efforts seem to be directed at misinformation. I welcome a good debate, but all of the lies out there sicken me. Until I see some action from Republicans and the insurance companies and not just lip service, I consider them the enemies of health care reform in this country and therefore on the wrong side.

    August 19, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. Karen - Missouri

    Republicans haven't done any work since January period. All they know how to do is make excuses, whine, say no, use deception and lies, now pretend they want to work? Right. Republicans haven't had a creative bone in their bodies. The dog ate their homework, right?

    August 19, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. Pepou

    Get rid of the clown and start working on the public option.

    August 19, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. alvino

    I wish someone could explain to the right wing nuts, that government agencies are not profit focused. Our military, police, fire fighters, social security, medicare and others have never turned a profit. (I am sure if the army was making money by keeping our butts safe, the profit would be returned to the taxpayers).

    If USPS can deliver a letter to Alaska from Florida for 44 cents, I think maybe they are not so bad even if they cannot being generate a profit.

    August 19, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Pardon me if I am a bit skeptical about Senator Grassley's recent conversion to the health care issue.

    The Democrats are playing this right. They are now positioning the health care debate as "yes, we can't" versus "no, we won't". Most Americans want haelth care reform, but disagree on the form it takes. By positioning the debate in this fashion, the Democrats (largely appropriately) are asserting that they have any number of answers that need to be debated, but the Republicans are willing to use their influence (including bullying and threats) to stop the dialogue altogether.

    So....since Mr. Grassley is now on board with endorsing getting a health care reform bill through the Senate, I assume that he will lead his party back to the table instead of continuing to make the issue so divisive, ugly, and partisan.

    August 19, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. Barbara Independent in NY

    He's not to be trusted. Do Not Believe Him!

    August 19, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. Hammer

    Keep it simple for the intellectuals in the government and in the media- no government in any business including healthcare, auto, banking, home loans or any thing that competes with private enterprise. If you cannot understand that maybe you are not so smart after all.

    August 19, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. NadineCA

    He already said even if it's good he won't sign it. He's on video saying this. What a liar. How did this man get this job? Go around him, pass the bill anyways. Stop trying to get Republicans, they don't want to be bipartisan.

    August 19, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. Cindy

    Republicans are so set on Obama's Waterloo... they forget what they're there for.

    Pass Health Care Reform. Now. Stop the roadblocks. Now. So you guys may have to share your health care benefits with people you and your friends feel are unworthy of attention. Tough. So your friends in the Medical industry may need to adjust your profits. Tough.

    It's not Socialism. It's doing the right thing, for everyone, not just the top percentile.

    Obama's Administration is going to go down in history, as the guys that finally did it. It won't be his Waterloo; it will be instead... his shining moment.

    August 19, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. aware

    No compromise – NO government health care – Co-Ops or otherwise!

    Wake up America! Canada's government health care is imploding! 🙁

    August 19, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. Zion

    Grassley only wants a deal now because he did not realize that the Democrats would consider going it alone. GOVERN DEMS. GOVERN like they (Republicans) did for 8 years.

    August 19, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. Doug, New Jersey

    Democrats are against tort reform and are programmed to spew lies when you bring it up because they call it the lib lottery. Next time you are home sick, watch the commericals the lib lawyers put on to attract the moral-less Democrats in this country. Hurt in an accident? Did you fall? Drink a hot cup of coffee? The Democrat wont go out and work like the rest of us, they want to sue some hard working doctor or business. Ask the average lib to open their trunk in the North-East in January, many have a bucket of water that they are ready to pour on some sidewalk outside a small business, this is what Democrats do.

    August 19, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Bruce

    Go it alone!!! All the right wants to do is make the President look bad so forget em! Get a good bill through anyway!

    August 19, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    Grassley is already on record saying he will vote Republican, even if any bill contains everything he wants.
    And why are you bozos ripping into him for this? The people he represents wants him to behave like this. If he doesn't, he will be voted out. What kind of person would run for office representing himself as one thing, then when in office, ignore the wishes of the people who voted him in? Your beef is with your fellow citizens.

    August 19, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. Trombenik

    Oh yeah, Like this guy has been all for the kind of change we really need, this foot dragging, Obstructionist! Give us a break!

    August 19, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  19. J.C. - Independent & Insured

    Thanks to Senator Grassley for leading the investigations into conflicts of interest in medicine, which include ghost writing of medical research publications by drug companies!

    But we still need the Public Plan to save costs for all and improve health care outcomes.

    August 19, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. Big Ed

    Grassley's idea of a deal is full concession to his way of thinking or NO. I think he's full of himself and would say NO to anything! If he or the other Republicans really wanted to make a deal, it would have been done already. If the Republicans actually cared about the constituents the allegedly represent – the differences would have been worked out in a bi-partisan manner and we would be would be turning our attentions to one of the other real problems we face as a country. Lead, follow or get out of the way!

    August 19, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  21. George

    Right Honest!!! What a joke. The republicans want to burry the Omama administration and he is holding the shovel.

    August 19, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. alvino

    When people like Grassley lie and put donations from the Health Care Industry ahead of the American people, and he has lost his right to represent Iowans and should lose his senate position to negotiate anything in health reform.

    August 19, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  23. Tony in Maine

    ...and the sun will rise in the west tomorrow.

    Grassley is blowing smoke again. No one on his side of the aisle has any interest in going against the wishes of the health insurance industry. It looks like liberal Democrats are finally understanding that.

    August 19, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  24. alvino

    The only difference between Grassley and a bucket of Iowa pig slop is the bucket.

    August 19, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. Failin' Bailin' Quittin' Palin

    I think the fact that Grassley carries Glenn Beck's books around with him regularly says all we need to know about his intelligence or lack thereof as it were. For all the touting he does of himself as a Christian man, this guy is about as dishonest and untrustworthy as anyone I've ever encountered. Please Iowa, get rid of this off-the-wall kook and send him back to the farm where he belongs!

    August 19, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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