Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

October 7, 2009

GRASSLEY'S PRINCIPLE-FREE OPPOSITION.... Given his record, we're well past the point of expecting intellectual seriousness or consistency from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). But his take on an individual mandate as part of health care reform is pretty striking, even for him.

Victor Zapanta reported yesterday on Grassley's latest stand. The senator was asked whether he might consider supporting health care reform if Democrats satisfied his concerns about funds for abortion and coverage for undocumented workers. Grassley said he'd oppose reform anyway, because of the individual mandate.

"[T]here are other points as well, but let me mention other points that you didn't mention. And one would be the individual mandate, which for the first time would have a federal penalty against people who don't have health insurance.... I'm very reluctant to go along with an individual mandate."

So, for Chuck Grassley, an individual mandate is a deal-breaker. No matter what other concessions Democrats are willing to make in the name of compromise and in the spirit of bipartisan cooperation, the Iowa conservative believes the mandate is just too much.

At least, that's what he believes now. As recently as August, Grassley argued the way to get universal coverage is "through an individual mandate." He told Nightly Business report, "That's individual responsibility, and even Republicans believe in individual responsibility."

In June, Grassley was even clearer. He said "there isn't anything wrong with" an individual mandate, and compared it to laws requiring Americans to have car insurance. "Everybody has some health insurance costs," the conservative senator said, "and if you aren't insured, there's no free lunch."

Grassley added, in unambiguous terms, "I believe that there is a bipartisan consensus to have individual mandates."

Read that sentence again.

Democrats moved forward with reform efforts, taking Grassley at his word. Just a few months later, however, Grassley has concluded that he's not only against individual mandates, he considers them a deal-breaker. And remember, as far as Senate Republicans are concerned, Grassley was the lead negotiator on working towards some kind of consensus on the legislation.

Why is "bipartisan" health care reform impossible? Because leading GOP lawmakers like Chuck Grassley oppose the measures they support.

Steve Benen 8:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (23)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

It's almost as if the Internet doesn't exist for these people. And it clearly doesn't for the MSM. I guess I understand why Bill Hemmer of Fox News didn't press Grassley on this, but what about our supposedly liberal media? Nobody other than Olberman and Maddow can actually have some interns do some research and then call them on it? I never liked Tim Russert very much (aside from his affection for the Bills), but at least he reveled in using people's own words against them.

Posted by: Buffalonian on October 7, 2009 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

Other than mixing it up on the internets, I'm a peace-loving woman, but even I would really like to watch someone punch Grassley in the face.

Posted by: shortstop on October 7, 2009 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

grassley is a nihilist. he knows he can say anything. he knows that anything he says is completely meaningless outside of its immediate impact. language has no meaning anymore.

when the speaker is no longer held accountable -- and none of them are -- language is meaningless.

Posted by: neill on October 7, 2009 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

The individual mandate in the Baucus bill is a dealbreaker for me.

If they put that in without everyone having the option to buy into Medicare (or it's twin), it passes, and Obama signs it, I will vote against anyone who supports it - if I have to vote for freakin Sarah Palin. That would be my first vote for a Republican in my 60 years (40 as a voter.)

It would be unconstitutional anyway - turning HC corporations into taxing entities every time they raise rates.

Want to see left wingers at tea parties, and making them enormously bigger, Dems? Just try to enact something like that.

Posted by: UnEasyOne on October 7, 2009 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

Either Grassley has the memory of a tse tse fly or else he thinks his constituents do.

Clearly his agenda is not good health policy or even consistency, it's to defeat Obama at all costs. And he's willing to make himself look like an idiot just to show us how serious he is.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on October 7, 2009 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

Grassley is just doing his republican duty of trying to move the goalpost.

Posted by: jcricket on October 7, 2009 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

From a strict constitutionalist point of view, Granda Simpson has a point. I doubt that the framers were fond of mandates of any kind.

And I think Chief Justice Robert's SCOTUS may find a health insurance mandate unconstitutional.

In a pure (Constitional) world, I can chose to Live Free, and Die.

In the real world, if I get sick/hit by a bus/OD on my drug of choice, I will get medical care.

-and y'all will pay for it. . .

Posted by: DAY on October 7, 2009 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

The emotional satisfaction from striking someone reminds me of trickie dickie cheney , parochial , bitter , and mostly irrational .
Then there are the exceptions which prove the rule .
An elder and respected mugwump who Eddie Haskel's it up equaling that cloying , maggot choking , rot . It isn't normal for a person to sell their soul so cheaply unless they don't regard the loss as real .
For despair press here , for desperate press twice , for journalism look under J at the library .

Posted by: FRP on October 7, 2009 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

From a strict constitutionalist point of view, Granda Simpson has a point. I doubt that the framers were fond of mandates of any kind.
And I think Chief Justice Robert's SCOTUS may find a health insurance mandate unconstitutional.

Fine. Make the individual mandate a state requirement, and then tie that requirement to all federal funding received by the state.

Otherwise, I'll ask Justice Robert's to look into scraping my auto insurance requirement as well. After all, that is an onerous burden the gov is placing on my freedom loving soul.

Posted by: about time on October 7, 2009 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

Not exactly, about time. Driving a car on public roads is a privilege - not a right.

Simply breathing is a right. If you are mandated to pay into a public (government) program (like Medicare), government has a perfect right to make you do that. To require you to pay whatever exorbitant price a private corporate monopoly chooses to charge you as a requirement to simply draw breath as a US citizen turns those corporations into taxing entities and is unconstitutional as hell.

Posted by: UnEasyOne on October 7, 2009 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

"...and even Republicans believe in individual responsibility."

That's just too funny. And right out of Grassley's mouth.

Posted by: Speed on October 7, 2009 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

Even though I've come to expect this kind of intellectual dishonesty, I still can't help, but shake my head when I see it.

I laughed out loud when I heard Grassley decry progressive amendments to the so-called bipartisan compromise finance committee legislation.

Let's see, republicans insist on negotiating a "compromise" bill that they won't actually vote for, and now they upset that the legislation is being modified to garner support from the progressive faction of the Democratic caucus.

Ha. As Bugs Bunny would say, "What a maroon!"

Posted by: DK on October 7, 2009 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

In the real world, if I get sick/hit by a bus/OD on my drug of choice, I will get medical care . . . -and y'all will pay for it . . .

Yes, of course. The Judeo-Christian and Enlightenment moral traditons posit that we care for the sick and injured regardless of cause, but we might have to put some legal or cultural restraints on you if immoral or persistently stupid actions on your part are a burden on the rest of us.

Posted by: Midland on October 7, 2009 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Other than mixing it up on the internets, I'm a peace-loving woman, but even I would really like to watch someone punch Grassley in the face.
Posted by: shortstop on October 7, 2009 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

***********************************************

i would prefer that someone, anyone, dump a giant tube of preparation H on that hemmoroid head of his........now that would solve the problem once and for all ...........

Posted by: stormskies on October 7, 2009 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

uneasyone gets it right in the second post, i believe.

the mandate is essential to making this work, but my understanding is that thus far there is very little in place regarding cost controls. even the proposed subsidies are bound to leave a number of people in a precarious spot. anyone clear on what this aspect of the proposal looks like?

Posted by: sadly on October 7, 2009 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Shows more character to reverse oneself than consistently lie, like Barack Obama on healthcare for illegal aliens.

This blog seems rather worthless. Nothing but hypocritical whining about the Republicans and conservative commentators doing the same things the Democrats and liberal commentators do. What a yawner.

Posted by: LindaRe on October 7, 2009 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Not exactly, about time. Driving a car on public roads is a privilege - not a right.
Simply breathing is a right. If you are mandated to pay into a public (government) program (like Medicare), government has a perfect right to make you do that.

Huh? You're saying "breathing" is a right and not a "privelege", therefore it can't be mandated, and then in the very next line you say mandating the right of breathing is perfectly legit so long as its public. That argument makes no sense. I agree with you that mandating insurance without a public option is a very bad idea, but I don't follow your; a privilege = a legal mandate, a right = no legal mandate, personal health = a right, personal health therefore is legally mandated if its public not private insurance, logic. If mandating a right is illegal, then it's illegal no matter how that mandate is administered.

Posted by: about time on October 7, 2009 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

grassley is a nihilist. he knows he can say anything. he knows that anything he says is completely meaningless outside of its immediate impact. language has no meaning anymore.

A nihilist! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of Republicanism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.

Posted by: Stefan on October 7, 2009 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Grassley: "...and even Republicans believe in individual responsibility."

I believe that "even" right there is what's known as a tell.

Posted by: Stefan on October 7, 2009 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

”Driving a car on public roads is a privilege - not a right.”

This statement always annoys me
No, driving is not a right, buts its not a privilege neither

There is a reason why they call it a drivers “License”
There is a set criteria, if prove that you meet that criteria, the State issues you a license and you can drive
If not then they don’t and you cant
If they want to revoke your license there is a defined process they have to follow

If it was a “privilege” then the head of the DMV could issue a license to his 8 yr old son, or the DMV could decide that we have too many drivers so from now on you cant drive if you were born in a month with an “R” in it

Posted by: jefft452 on October 7, 2009 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, about time, let's see if I can clear it up for you.

It is established constitutional law that government has the right to provide for the general welfare and to tax for the services government provides. That isn't even controversial.

All working citizens (except for a few with specific defined alternatives) pay into Social Security. That is a mandate.

Expanding Medicare (for example) to cover all working Americans (or even better, setting up a National Health Service) would be an expanded government program with the exact same legal justification. While I have no confidence that this Supreme Court has any respect at all for inconvenient precedent or even the constitution or democracy itself, that is settled law.

Forcing individuals to patronize some corporation as a condition of citizenship turns that corporation into a taxing entity every time it raises rates. The constitution is very specific on this point: all tax bills must originate in the House of Representatives. The freakin Senate can't even raise your taxes - or the POTUS - much less Wellpoint.

If having a driver's license was a right it couldn't be revoked because you got too many parking tickets or for the other varied reasons licenses are revoked in various jurisdictions. The license granted to the eight-year-old argument is bogus because all licenses have requirements that must be met before the license will be granted. I am not aware of any jurisdiction that doesn't have an age requirement for the issuance of a DL.

Now, my personal opinion is that if the state is going to require liability insurance, it should provide that insurance (at cost plus a 3% admin fee) and I would like that codified into law, but there is a difference.

Walking, riding a horse, riding a bike, taking the bus, calling a cab, all may be lousy alternatives to getting behind the wheel, but they do exist. Many people don't drive at all. So driving is a privilege subject to rules and regulations. Banning people born in a certain month would be discriminatory and violate the "equal protection" clause - but on various occasions people with even or odd numbered license plates have been allowed on the streets only on alternate days.

I was born a citizen. That is not a privilege I applied for or was granted by any entity other than the constitution. It requires no license. Requiring me to patronize some corporation as a condition of continuing to draw breath here is so clearly unconstitutional, that even our current Supreme Court is likely to say so.

Posted by: UnEasyOne on October 7, 2009 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Grassley. Pass reform without an individual mandate. I wonder how his constituency (insurance companies) will like community rating etc. without an individual mandate?

Posted by: n on October 7, 2009 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

Badly need your help. This is my first time visiting this site and I found it very informational as a whole. I am so delighted in finding your website. Help me! There is an urgent need for sites: Replica cars kits for sale. I found only this - replica ships cannon for sale. Replica, it was presented to be placed, really, that alternate dots be neglected throughout the card between the scenario and secret and segregation close away on earth. Replica, dreams are mentioned for available, bubonic dogs. Waiting for a reply :-), Slater from Japan.

Posted by: Slater on March 8, 2010 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK
Post a comment









Remember personal info?










 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly