March 03,2010

Grassley statement regarding the President’s speech today on health care reform

Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley
Ranking Member of the Committee on Finance
regarding the President’s statement today on health care reform

 Wednesday, March 3, 2010

“The American health care system is in need of reform. We spend too much on healthcare, and we don’t get enough value for the dollars we spend. We should undertake reforms thatcan lower cost and improve quality without jeopardizing our economy by raising taxes or makingcoverage even more unaffordable with higher premiums.

“The President continues to try to accomplish his agenda by passing a massive healthcare reform bill. Beyond the fact that the bills continue to be written behind closed doors andinclude a limited number of Republican ideas, the legislation is so badly flawed that it will takemore than token updates to fix them. The bills we’ve seen so far, including what’s being talkedabout today, increase premiums, make hundreds of billions in unsustainable cuts to Medicare,and create a permanent new entitlement at a time when we most need to focus on getting oureconomy back on track. The bills use budget gimmicks, including raiding Social Security anddouble counting in an attempt to claim they reduce the deficit. Nothing the President said todaychanges those fundamental facts, and some of what he’s now proposing makes these problemseven worse. Instead, Congress should focus on the areas where there’s broad agreement. Claimsthat this means delay misses the point that the American people are opposed to a flawed billbeing jammed through and making things worse, not better.

“Democratic leaders have the option of using budget reconciliation to pass their bills. Ihope they’ll choose not to use a purely partisan process to pass a bill that would re-organize onesixthof America’s economy and which doesn’t have the support of a majority of Americans.That would be a mistake.”