Iowa’s U.S. Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley are releasing noncommittal statements about the Senate’s version of the health care bill. Neither have expressed whether they’re leaning toward voting for or against the proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act.
Grassley says he’s getting many hundreds of email, calls and letters from Iowans about the legislation. “I’m still continuing to study this 144-page draft bill over the next few days and I hope we make a decision this week,” Grassley says, “but if we don’t, then I’m going to have another couple weeks to study the 144-page bill.”
Grassley, a Republican, says there were many promises made with the ACA that simply were not kept and changes need to be made. “We were promised 25% reductions in premiums in 2009 and they’ve gone up over 100%,” Grassley says. “We were promised if you like your doctor, you can keep it. A lot of people have had to change doctors. If you like your insurance, you can keep it. A lot of people have changed it.”
While many Iowans are pleading with their senators to leave the ACA intact, Grassley says action is needed to correct problems that were created by the earlier health care plan. “Currently, if nothing is passed, 72,000 Iowans on Obamacare will face hardship keeping their insurance this fall,” Grassley says. “You know, 94 or 95 counties only have one, Medica. If it stays in Iowa, they’re going to have increases in premiums of 43-and-a-half percent.”
While Grassley hasn’t said how he’d vote on the Senate version of the bill, he is convinced the ACA needs to be repealed and replaced, he’s just not sure yet if this is the best way to do it. Grassley says, “Even if Hillary Clinton had been elected president, the Democrats are admitting now there would be a lot of changes having to be made to Obamacare.”
Five Republican senators have already said they will vote against the bill. If all Democrats vote no, which is expected, there won’t be enough support to pass it. The U.S. House has already passed its own version of the health care bill.