One of the leading Senate Republicans working on the bipartisan healthcare reform bill has labeled President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “intellectually dishonest” for skirting the discussion of specific provisions in the Democratic legislation.
By sidestepping former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s charge of creating “death panels” with the legislation, Obama and Pelosi are fooling the public in their tactics for government-run healthcare, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa said.
Grassley told Fox News Tuesday that he “had very strong views for about four months during this debate that I’m not going to do anything with the healthcare bill that puts a government bureaucrat or any government policy making a determination on whether or not we are going to value life at the end of life any more than at age 30 or 20.”
The “Pelosi bill, which is a government takeover of healthcare, [is] exploding the deficit because it’s not paid for and it’s got high taxes in it,” he told Fox News.
“So what they tried to do is divert attention, and they’ve done a very good job of diverting attention, and they’re intellectually dishonest when they say it because all of their proposals dealing with end of life are connected with ways of saving money and takeover of national healthcare.”
Last week, Grassley charged Democrats with wanting to “pull the plug on grandma” and said the House bill would even deny brain cancer treatment to Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.
In a radio interview Wednesday, Grassley said Obama “really does not have an understanding of how Congress operates." The top Republican on the finance committee also told constituents at a town hall meeting last week that he does not want government policy to “treat life at age 85 different than we do life at 35.
"They aren't for the Kennedy bill, or the Pelosi bill, or Obamacare," Grassley said. "But they will tell you about the third of the dollars we spend on care are wasted in America, and we've got to change things."
Joining Grassley in lashing out at Obama's healthcare reform efforts was Rep. Steve King, a fellow Iowan who accused Obama and the Democratic-controlled House Tuesday of a "breathtaking" assault on the free market.
King told The Associated Press that Obama is taking "great steps toward a managed economy."
Despite Obama’s contention that he will nix the public option in favor of a quasi-government cooperative at every state level to compete with the individual insurance companies from the contentious bill, the White House said this week that it still supports a public option.
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