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Sen. Grassley Disqualifies Himself from Health Care Negotiations

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Senator Charles Grassley is the ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee and the chief Republican negotiator in efforts to produce a bipartisan health care bill. By now Huffington Post readers have seen that Sen. Grassley has jumped on the health care crazy bandwagon, endorsing the notion that his constituents should fear the House bill over what Sarah Palin termed "Obama's 'death panel.'"

At an Iowa event yesterday, he said, ""In the House bill there is counseling for end of life...and from that standpoint you have every right to fear...we should not have a government program that determines you're going to pull the plug on grandma."

Of course as a significant player in the health care debate, Senator Grassley knows full well that H.R. 3200 simply pays for voluntary end of life counseling from a doctor. As countless independent organizations and media outlets have stated, there is no "death panel" or any such thing in the health care bill.

My first thought after watching video of Grassley's statements is that he has now disqualified himself from participation in further Senate Finance Committee negotiations. How can someone act as a good-faith negotiator on a critical and complex issue while simultaneously stoking fear and spreading bald-faced lies about the content of the leading legislation on the topic? And why should Democratic Senators take him seriously and continue to engage him? Bipartisanship is helpful; but at what cost?

Progressive Future will be sending a letter to Senator Grassley requesting that he recuse himself from further negotiations, and we're inviting concerned citizens to sign on. The letter says simply:

To: Sen. Charles Grassley

I am writing to ask you to step down from all further Senate Finance Committee health care negotiations.

On Aug. 12, you told a crowd in your home state that "In the House bill there is counseling for end of life...and from that standpoint you have every right to fear...we should not have a government program that determines you're going to pull the plug on grandma." You know full well that H.R. 3200 simply pays for VOLUNTARY end of life counseling with a doctor.

You cannot act as a good-faith negotiator on health care once you have endorsed the lies and scare tactics of those who will stop at nothing to defeat reform. You have disqualified yourself from productive conversation on this topic.


Click here to sign on to the letter.

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