Grassley's ties to health and insurance PACs are no joke

Jon Stewart had a go at Senator Chuck Grassley on Tuesday’s edition of The Daily Show. The “debt and deficit dragon” segment is worth watching if you missed it. I can’t embed the video here, but you can watch it at or at Radio Iowa.

While I enjoy laughing at Grassley as much as the next person, Paul Blumenthal’s reporting on Grassley for the Sunlight Foundation blog this week is more important than mocking Grassley’s bizarre visual aids and mixed metaphors.

During the second quarter of 2009 alone, Grassley “pulled in $165,100 from health and insurance PACs.” Blumenthal posts the details here. It appears that a large chunk of that money came from two fundraisers that interest groups opposing health care reform held for Grassley in late June.

Corporations who profit from our current inefficient and immoral health care system have a lot riding on Grassley’s efforts to derail real reform with bogus bipartisan rhetoric.

By the way, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus continues to raise lots of money from foes of health care reform as well. No wonder he gutted the public health insurance option in his committee’s bill.

  • Audio: Grassley Uses Kennedy's Brain Tumor To Spread Fear Of Rationing

    It is time to clean house in 2010!! Grassley is not only corrupt, but an embarrasment as well.

    Daily Kos weighs in:  

    Update: And yes, as many commenters have pointed out, Sen. Kennedy–AND Sen. Grassley–are in government-run health care. They are covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefit plan, with the government–us as taxpayers–paying a large percentage of the coverage cost. And, since we pay their salaries, we pay their premiums, too.


    Think Progress report:…  

    Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, has taken the lead role in negotiating the health care reform bill for the GOP. But earlier today during a radio interview with Iowa City’s KCJJ, Grassley steered the conversation with a caller toward rationing health care services among the elderly, one of the right wing’s favorite fearmongering tactics when it comes to health care reform. And as an example, Grassley cited Sen. Ted Kennedy’s (D-MA) brain tumor. Grassley said that in countries with government-run health care, Kennedy “would not get the care he gets here because of his age.” Instead, the government would decide to spend health care resources on younger people “who can contribute to the economy”:

    GRASSLEY: In countries that have government-run health care, just to give you an example, I’ve been told that the brain tumor that Sen. Kennedy has – because he’s 77 years old – would not be treated the way it’s treated in the United States. In other words, he would not get the care he gets here because of his age. In other words, they’d say ‘well he doesn’t have long to live even if he lived another four to five years.’ They’d say ‘well, we gotta spend money on people who can contribute more to economy.’ It’s a little like people saying when somebody gets to be 85 their life is worth less than when they were 35 and you pull the tubes on them.


    “Many Americans are under the delusion that we have ‘the best health care system in the world,’” wrote the New York Times editorial page in 2007, but “the disturbing truth is that this country lags well behind other advanced nations in delivering timely and effective care.” Among developed countries, the United States has the 10th highest death rate among cancer patients, higher than Spain and Sweden.

    But the larger problem Grassley ignores is cost. For Kennedy, access to health care is not an issue. Among most Americans, however, staggering health costs prevent more than half of U.S. patients from gaining access to medical care. Last year, 38 percent of U.S. patients did not receive recommended treatment compared to 11 percent in Canada and 6 percent in the U.K. And even among Americans with insurance, 43 percent of adults with chronic conditions nevertheless had access problems because of cost.

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