Follow Grassley's advice to find affordable health care

Health Care for America Now, in conjunction with the Iowa Citizen Action Network, is running an online ad that links to a “job application” citizens can fill out to request a position with Senator Chuck Grassley’s office.

You may recall that Grassley told a constituent at a recent town-hall meeting to “go work for the federal government” if he wanted the same health insurance plan the senator enjoys:

Excerpt from an ICAN press release, which I have posted in full after the jump:

Senator Grassley, whose health care bills are picked up by taxpayers, pays $356.59 a month for health insurance.  The most he pays when visiting a doctor or hospital is $300. His “Let Them Eat Cake” attitude ignores the plight of working families, farmers, and small business owners in Iowa who don’t have adequate, affordable health care and are going broke trying to keep up with insurance premiums and medical costs.

“Polls show that the majority of Iowans, like the majority of people in America, want health care reform that achieves quality, affordable health care for all,” said Betty Ahrens, Executive Director, Iowa Citizen Action Network. “Senator Grassley keeps blocking progress in the Senate Finance Committee. He talks about bipartisanship but is showing no intention of compromise, and after his comments in Waukon, we know just how out of touch Senator Grassley is with the real struggles of his constituents in Iowa. Everyone here should see this video, and we will do what we can to make sure Senator Grassley knows his “Get a Job Like Mine” solution to the health care crisis is unacceptable.”

Excerpt from the “job application”:

I work hard, and I pay my taxes, but I cannot keep up with health care costs that are rising four times faster than wages if I can even get health care at all, what with all the denials of needed care that my insurance company throws in my way. Meanwhile, Members of Congress get health care that’s affordable, and nobody is going to deny care to an elected official!

Senator Grassley has so graciously offered to provide me health care as good as he has if I work for the federal government, and so I am applying for a position in Senator Grassley’s office in the hope he will make good on that promise. If he cannot, the only hope I have to obtain quality, affordable health care for me and my family is if Senator Grassley drops his opposition and supports real health care reform – reform that gives me a choice of public or private insurance, make care affordable, and delivers good benefits.

Volunteers will deliver the “job applications” to Grassley’s office next week. Although he’s not going to change his mind about a public health insurance option, we can show how out of touch he is with Iowans.

Fortunately, a group of Senate Democrats are strongly committed to the public option, dimming prospects for a bipartisan compromise on health care that would please Grassley.

ICAN press release of July 13, 2009:

WATCH VIDEO & APPLY FOR YOUR FEDERAL JOB HERE: HealthCareforAmericaNow.org/Job

Des Moines, Iowa – Iowa Citizen Action Network (ICAN) as part of Health Care for America Now (HCAN) – the nation’s largest health care campaign – launched a new online ad in Iowa today taking Senator Charles Grassley to task for saying if Iowans want better health care, they should get a job like his.  The ad appears on Iowa media websites and blogs and clicks through to a “federal job application” which constituents will deliver to the Senator’s office next week.

The action is in response to Senator Grassley’s remarks at a town hall meeting in Waukon, Iowa on June 30, 2009. Grassley – the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee – had an exchange with a constituent who asked why he couldn’t have the same health insurance the Senator has.  When the voter pressed Senator Grassley for more details about his health insurance plan – many being details the Senator was unable to answer – Senator Grassley suggested the voter get a job with John Deere if he wanted better health care.

John Deere has had to let go of hundreds of employees in Iowa alone so far this year. This shows that Senator Grassley is out of touch with Iowa and with what’s best for the people of his state who – especially in times of economic difficulties – need health care they can count on, including health coverage they can afford and the choice of a public health insurance option.

Pressed again on why the constituent couldn’t have the same health care coverage the Senator has, Senator Grassley snapped, “You can! Go work for the federal government!”

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE: HealthCareforAmericaNow.org/Job

Senator Grassley, whose health care bills are picked up by taxpayers, pays $356.59 a month for health insurance.  The most he pays when visiting a doctor or hospital is $300. His “Let Them Eat Cake” attitude ignores the plight of working families, farmers, and small business owners in Iowa who don’t have adequate, affordable health care and are going broke trying to keep up with insurance premiums and medical costs.

“Polls show that the majority of Iowans, like the majority of people in America, want health care reform that achieves quality, affordable health care for all,” said Betty Ahrens, Executive Director, Iowa Citizen Action Network. “Senator Grassley keeps blocking progress in the Senate Finance Committee. He talks about bipartisanship but is showing no intention of compromise, and after his comments in Waukon, we know just how out of touch Senator Grassley is with the real struggles of his constituents in Iowa. Everyone here should see this video, and we will do what we can to make sure Senator Grassley knows his “Get a Job Like Mine” solution to the health care crisis is unacceptable.”

Concerned Iowans will deliver the “applications” collected online through the ad to Senator Grassley next week.  Application signatures are expected to grow considerably as MoveOn.org and Democracy for America plan to contact their members to “apply for a federal job” later this week.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Constituent 1: I pay about $3,700 a year for a $1,000 deductible and $5,000 maximum deposit [?].  My question is-if I’m right on this-why is your insurance so much cheaper than my insurance and better than my insurance?  I think that I should have the same insurance that you have-health insurance.

Moderator: Senator Grassley?

Con. 1: Am I right on that?  About how much you pay?

Sen. Grassley: I can tell you what percentage I pay.  I don’t–I pay 32%–

Con. 1: Thirty-two percent?

Sen. Grassley: Of the costs, yes.

Con. 1: Of the costs?

Sen. Grassley:  And if you want a better insurance policy, go work for John Deere because they don’t pay anything.

Con. 1:  I’m asking you.  I don’t care about John Deere!  I don’t work for John Deere!

Sen. Grassley: And I’m answering your question!  I just answered it!  So why would you yell at me, “Why didn’t I answer your question?”  I said I pay 32%.

Con. 1: OK.

Sen. Grassley: Who’s next?

Con. 1: How much deductible?

Sen. Grassley: I don’t know that but I can get you that information but I don’t carry-

Constituent 2: Senator I think you’re on the same plan I am and I think it’s– we have a $250 deductible, 20% co-pay.

Sen. Grassley: [to Con. 1] Why don’t you ask the people at the Farm Service Administration because we have the same plan federal employees have?

Con. 2: Right.

Con. 1: How come I can’t have the same thing you have?

Sen. Grassley: You can! Go work for the federal government!

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