Why Can’t We Have Health Benefits As Good As Chuck Grassley?

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley gets a pretty sweet deal as Senator on health care. He pays $356.59 per month, and the most he pays when visiting a doctor or hospital is $300. Compare that to your average Iowan family, who would pay almost $600 a month and be on the hook for $5,000 or more if they went to the hospital.

And who pays for Grassley’s benefits? Taxpayers like you and me.

Senator Grassley’s health benefits meet his needs and their affordable. So why can’t people like you and me have something just as good?

Grassley was asked this very question by an Iowa voter at a town hall a few weeks ago. Instead of honestly answering the question, Grassley dismissed it, saying first that the citizen should get a job with John Deere (which recently laid off hundreds in Iowa) and then that the citizen should get a job with the federal government – a job like Senator Grassley’s – if he wanted health care as good.


Outrageous, right? Click here to fight back against Senator Grassley’s comment.

An honest answer to the question would have seen Senator Grassley being straightforward about his position on health care. Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee and the Senator currently leading his party in opposition to health reform, is against just about everything President Obama is for on the subject. He signed a letter against a public health insurance option that would lower costs and make health care available to people like me and you, and he’s against asking employers to kick in their fair share towards health reform, another key proposal from President Obama.

Finally, he’s the one who’s been holding up progress on health reform on the Senate Finance Committee. With the House introducing their bill in their three committees today, and the Senate HELP Committee already marking up a bill, that means the Senate Finance Committee is the only committee yet to unveil a health reform bill, in part because Grassley is holding up a “bipartisan compromise.”

But Senator Grassley didn’t tell the assembled Iowans that he’s obstructing health reform and that he’s against giving people coverage as good as he gets – even though a large majority of Iowans support President Obama’s health reform proposals. Instead, he snapped back with a snide remark.

So, in response, can you fill out a job application to work in Senator Grassley’s office, to get health benefits as good as he gets? Working with our local partners, we’ll be delivering the job applications to his offices in Iowa. It’ll make for good TV, and it’ll help drive home the point about Grassley’s obstructionism.

Also, we’re advertising this video online as well, using the image you see above, so every Iowan sees Senator Grassley’s cavalier response to the health care crisis.

Click here to watch the video and fill out your job application. And forward the page on to friends to help us spread the word.

Senators like Chuck Grassley can’t be allowed to get away with obstructing health reform.

Jason Ronsenbaum: Jason Rosenbaum is a writer and musician currently residing in Washington D.C. He is interested in the intersection of politics and culture, media consolidation issues, and making sense out of our foreign policy disasters. He currently works for Health Care for America Now and he is also the webmaster for The Seminal.

This article was originally posted at Health Care for America NOW! on July 14, 2009 and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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Madeline Messa

Madeline Messa is a 3L at Syracuse University College of Law. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. With her legal research and writing for Workplace Fairness, she strives to equip people with the information they need to be their own best advocate.