Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley and another senator are scheduled to meet tomorrow with President Obama at the White House to discuss their latest findings and goals in health care reform. Grassley is the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee which is meeting today to discuss how to make health care more accessible and affordable.
“The health care system is 16% of the economy so reform is really a massive impact,” Grassley says. “Health care decisions need to stay between the patient and the doctors. I’m also working to make sure that rural America isn’t shortchanged in health care reform and left without benefits that people in big states have like Florida.” Grassley says he wants to tackle another issue that has more to do with keeping a symbolic sun shining on the work of government employees.
“I’m introducing today a bill to make it easier for inspectors general who are watchdogs within the federal government to do their jobs,” Grassley says. “I’ve always been a big supporter of I-Gs because they make sure accountability in government is a fact.” He says he wants to make certain there are no roadblocks for those who are to be keeping tabs on the “TARP” spending, which encompasses many billions of dollars in economic stimulus money.
“My bill makes it clear that the Paperwork Reduction Act isn’t intended to slow down the independent audit work of the inspectors general that they do on behalf of the taxpayers,” Grassley says. “It’s a common sense response to some real nonsense.”
With last week’s party switch of Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter from Republican to Democrat, Grassley will become the ranking Republican of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee in 2011. Grassley is to become the first non-lawyer to hold that post. He notes he hopes to “bring a little common sense to the process,” in a congress which he says is already two-thirds controlled by lawyers.