Senate 2010: Get to know Bob Krause

Bob Krause, who is running for U.S. Senate next year against five-term incumbent Chuck Grassley, was in the news last week with some sensible comments about health care reform. He encouraged Grassley to demand higher reimbursement rates for Iowa health care providers in exchange for dropping his opposition to a public option in the Senate bill:

Iowa ranks 49th in Medicare reimbursement, Krause said. That makes it hard for the state to attract and retain health professionals, according to various state officials, including Grassley, who has long advocated for reforms in the reimbursement system.

“This has hurt the quality of medical care in Iowa as some doctors refuse Medicare patients because of the low reimbursement rate,” Krause said. “On the flip side, continuing with only private providers for health insurance coverage hurts Iowans because it locks in a monopoly.” More than 80 percent of the Iowa health insurance market in Iowa is controlled by just two companies.

A public option would provide competition for the private insurers, Krause said.

Krause is obviously right on both counts, but don’t expect Grassley to listen. He is the leading Republican voice against the public option and has an ally in Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Democrat whose health care reform plan may be worse than the insurance industry’s.

Iowa Democrats have given Grassley a pass for too many years. I appreciate Krause’s commitment to running a real race against him. I encourage you to donate to his campaign and get to know him better by checking out his website. Blog for Iowa’s three-part interview with Krause is a good read as well. Here are the links:

part 1 (a bit of personal history, Iowa Democratic Veterans’ Caucus, plus views on gay rights and progressivism)

part 2 (about Krause’s campaign strategy and views on the environment and Judge Sonia Sotomayor)

part 3 (about health care reform, media reform and RAGBRAI)

This thread is for any comments about the 2010 Senate race in Iowa. How could Krause use his campaign funds most effectively? Which issues should he emphasize in making a case against Grassley?

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