So-called "end of life" provisions in the health care reform package before Congress are stirring much debate at town hall meetings in Iowa and nationwide. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s against the government being involved in such provisions.
Some accuse Grassley of being dishonest as he supported government involvement in end of life decisions when he voted for a bill dealing with Medicare Part D in 2003. Grassley disagrees. "No, the people that’re saying that are dishonest because if you go back and read what that says in 2003, it was all related to pain and hospice and that sort of care," Grassley says.
"It dealt only with hospice and it had nothing to do with saving money; it had to do with taking care of the sick." Grassley says he met with President Obama last Thursday at the White House and they discussed the negative response many people in town hall meetings are having to the so-called public option, or a government-run, health insurance plan.
"I told the president then that he needed to make public whether or not he could sign a bill that didn’t have a public option in it," Grassley says. "He didn’t have to take a position against a public option but would he sign a bill that wouldn’t have a public option in it and I thought a statement from him would be very helpful."
He says he doesn’t know if that public option proposal is now dead, though Obama did make it clear, he would sign the health care reform package into law without it.