Iowa’s Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst say they are “continuing to carefully look through the revised health care discussion draft” released by Senate Republican leaders last week. Iowans who have called the senators’ offices are likewise hearing from staffers that Grassley and Ernst have not decided whether to support the GOP alternative to the Affordable Care Act.
I suspect Iowa’s senators would rubber-stamp any GOP “health care” bill Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brings to the floor, for several reasons:
• None of the Washington-based reporters on this beat include Grassley or Ernst on their lists of Republican senators who may not support the bill.
• Reports speculating about special deals GOP Senate leaders may offer to lock down votes don’t refer to any additional spending geared toward Iowa.
• Neither Grassley nor Ernst made time to meet with Iowa hospital leaders who lobbied against the bill on a trip to Washington last week.
• Neither Grassley nor Ernst has bucked the party line on any important Senate vote that I can recall.
For now, let’s take Iowa’s senators at their word: they are still undecided and seeking input from constituents. If Grassley and Ernst intend to keep promises they’ve been making on health care policy, they need not spend any more time deliberating. They have ample reasons to vote against the Orwellian-named Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).
Non-partisan analysis indicates that if this bill becomes law, tens of millions of Americans–including hundreds of thousands of Iowans–will have worse health insurance coverage or no coverage at all.