Grassley's for the GOP health care bill he hasn't seen because..."certainty"

A small group of Senate Republicans are writing a new version of the American Health Care Act in unprecedented secrecy and with a large dose of deception, hoping to attract minimal public attention before a quick Senate vote.

Iowa’s senior Senator Chuck Grassley hasn’t seen the bill. He has no idea whether the revised legislation, like the House-approved AHCA, would cause “people of all ages and incomes” to lose coverage and make insurance several times more expensive for older or sicker Americans. He can’t be sure it will keep promises he has repeatedly made to Iowans, such as “The American people deserve a long-term solution that gives them more choice for less cost.”

But Grassley’s not hung up on small details.

In a brief interview with Jeff Stein of Vox, he defended the bill he hasn’t read, claiming it would offer “certainty.”

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Jerry Foxhoven charged with fixing the mess at Iowa DHS

The rumors were true: Drake University Law Professor Jerry Foxhoven will be the new Iowa Department of Human Services director, effective tomorrow.

The May 31 press release announcing Chuck Palmer’s retirement linked to a job listing for the DHS director position, to close on June 11. I would be surprised if Governor Kim Reynolds interviewed or seriously considered anyone else for this job, given the rapid turnaround. I never heard a rumor about any candidate other than Foxhoven.

I enclose below the full text of today’s announcement, including background on the new director. Foxhoven has a lot of relevant experience for the job, and I wish him the best of luck as he attempts to lead a department where big mid-year spending cuts will give way to even lower funding levels for the next fiscal year. Morale is reportedly poor among DHS workers, in part because of too-large caseloads. Medicaid privatization has proved disastrous for many vulnerable Iowans and service providers.

Speaking of which, Disability Rights Iowa filed suit yesterday against Reynolds and former DHS Director Palmer, seeking “to halt discriminatory cuts in services to 15,000 Iowans with serious disabilities,” Tony Leys and Jason Clayworth reported for the Des Moines Register. Roxanne Conlin is helping the plaintiffs, who will seek certification for a class action.

UPDATE: Lee Rood and Tony Leys interviewed Foxhoven for the Des Moines Register. I posted excerpts below, but you should click through to read the whole thing.

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What you can do to stop senators from taking health care away from millions

The U.S. Senate is fast-tracking a vote on its “health care” bill–more aptly described as a trillion-dollar tax giveaway for the rich, paid for by spending cuts that will cause millions of Americans to lose their health insurance. Older people and those with low incomes, especially people on Medicaid, are at greatest risk of losing access to health care.

Senate leaders are sticking to the plan of having no public hearings on the revised American Health Care Act, no committee markup, and no amendment process. An all-male group of thirteen Republican senators–not including Iowa’s Chuck Grassley or Joni Ernst–are drafting its terms in secret. (UPDATE/CORRECTION: Ernst has been added to the informal working group.) Other Republican senators have only been briefed on progress. Leaders will send the unpublished bill to the Congressional Budget Office, planning to bring the legislation straight to the Senate floor this month, possibly with only 24-48 hours for the public to learn about its provisions before senators vote.

Calls to U.S. Senate and House offices have recently returned to “normal” levels from before President Donald Trump was inaugurated. That needs to change immediately.

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The importance of direct action and organizing the Roast and Ride protest

Elizabeth Dinschel, state leader of Action Iowa, makes the case for public protests and for good communication between activists and law enforcement. -promoted by desmoinesdem
Passive resistance is not the “high road.”  The world never changed because of a Facebook post or a counter event.  The world has, however, changed because of the brave, nonviolent direct actions taken by leaders such as John Lewis, Malcolm X, the Dalai Lama, Marsha P. Jackson, the organizers of the Arab Spring, the Orange Revolution, and many more nonviolent revolutions in Central and South America.

In America, however, we are being conditioned to believe that direct action is somehow rude or impedes on the free speech of other Americans. This is patently false and is a direct result of people enjoying their privilege. If a person cannot understand how civil disobedience could change the narrative of history or politics it is because they are treated with respect in public or can afford things such as food, healthcare, or housing. Are you uncomfortable?  Good, because that is what direct action is.

Direct action forces politicians to hear the messaging of people and groups they do not typically communicate with or, maybe, do not even care about.

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Marginalized Iowans and the lack of representation in Washington

Matt Chapman reflects on Senator Chuck Grassley’s town hall in Greenfield on June 2. A video of that event is at the end of this post. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I have had a chance to ask Representative David Young, Senator Joni Ernst, and Senator Chuck Grassley about the American Health Care Act and the cuts to Medicaid that would occur if it passed. Out of the three, none would even come close to addressing it.

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My family's Medicaid story

Kelly Roberts is a part-time writer/blogger, full-time Human Resources consultant, and newly minted political activist. Pictured above: her grandfather, Charles Moel (Pompoo, to her) -promoted by desmoinesdem

Once upon a time, during the dark, discombobulating night of a medical crisis, my family encountered Medicaid.

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