ABC's Z. Byron Wolf reports: A day after he got an earful from Iowans at four townhall meetings, Sen. Charles Grassley, the lead of three Republican negotiators still seeking a bipartisan health reform bill in the Senate, released a written statement unequivocally against the bill Democrats are considering in the House.
Grassley calls it "the Pelosi bill" - and specifically he addresses the end-of-life counseling the House bill would reimburse Medicare doctors for providing.
Grassley says the bipartisan Senate negotiators have dropped all mention of end-of-life care from their bill "because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly."
But its notable that Grassley says the "methodical approach" in the Finance Committee continues. And he's referring to "the Pelosi bill" in the House and not the Obama health care plan, implying he still wants to work with the President.
But by dismissing any end of life care counseling and any government-run plan, his statement also outlines the gulf that remains even between party centrists on health care.
Full Grassley statement: “The bill passed by the House committees is so poorly cobbled together that it will have all kinds of unintended consequences, including making taxpayers fund health care subsidies for illegal immigrants. On the end-of-life issue, there’s a big difference between a simple educational campaign, as some advocates want, and the way the House committee-passed bill pays physicians to advise patients about end of life care and rates physician quality of care based on the creation of and adherence to orders for end-of-life care, while at the same time creating a government-run program that is likely to lead to the rationing of care for everyone. On the Finance Committee, we are working very hard to avoid unintended consequences by methodically working through the complexities of all of these issues and policy options. That methodical approach continues. We dropped end-of-life provisions from consideration entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly. Maybe others can defend a bill like the Pelosi bill that leaves major issues open to interpretation, but I can’t.”