Grassley’s Very Dumb Comment on Health Care Reform

Yesterday I noted both very good and very bad things from Chuck Grassley on health care legislation. He has made another statement to add to the very bad list:

After being besieged by protesters at meetings across his home state of Iowa, Grassley said he has concluded that the public has rejected the far-reaching proposals Democrats have put on the table, viewing them as overly expensive precursors to “a government takeover of health care.”

Besides the usual conservative mischaracterization of health care reform as a government takeover of health care, Grassley is being absurd in giving this justification for his conclusion. A tiny number of people organized by the insurance industry and far right groups are making a lot of noise at town hall meetings. This cannot be taken as representative of public opinion. Even where public opinion shows a decline in support for health care reform, this is based upon belief in the misinformation being spread and not the content of the actual legislation. Grassley should realize that the protests of the far right are not representative of his constituents or of the country.

Conservatives think they are killing health care reform. They may or may not turn out to be right, but I fear the real casualty will be this type of open discussion of the issues. During the Bush years town halls were a sham as only conservative true believers were allowed to attend. The Obama administration has tried to hold open meetings to truly discuss the issues. The manner in which right wingers pack and disrupt the meetings has limited their value and I wonder whether government leaders will want to risk holding open meetings of this type in the future. That would be an unfortunate outcome for democracy.

So we have here another victory for the authoritarian right.

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  1. 1
    Elizabeth says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s time to pull the plug on Grassley. No, seriously.

  2. 2
    Eclectic Radical says:

    I have, believe it or not, always had a baseline level of respect for Grassley. I would never vote for him or endorse him for office, but he has always struck me as a conservative who is ‘wrong for the right reasons’ and who does his best to serve the public trust as he sees it. He has supported Medicare and Social Security against attacks by his fellow conservatives and has rightly attacked risky privatization schemes as more expensive than the entitlements they were supposed to replace.
    While it is clear he is buying into much of the hype surrounding this debate, I believe he is opposing what he sees as a ‘new entitlement’ on political principle.
    One of the big reasons that conservatives see any health care reform as the first step to socialized medicine is because there are those of us on the left who see any palatable health care reform as the first step toward socialized medicine.
    I know I do. 😉

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