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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Grassley closes door on supporting public health plan

By Mike Lillis | 05.14.09 | 2:12 pm

Yesterday we mentioned that Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the Finance Committee and a fierce opponent of public health plans, had left the door open to including a public option in the sweeping health care reforms he’s currently drafting with panel Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.).

Today, Grassley all but eliminated the possibility that he would support such a plan, warning that it would be the first step toward a health care system controlled entirely by the government.

From a speech today on the Senate floor:

[S]ome say that we can avoid these [payment] problems by putting the government-run plan on a level playing field with private insurers. They say Congress could setup a system so that the government-run health insurance plan has to follow the same rules as private insurers. They say it would have to pay the same rates, form networks and be independently solvent. So my question is this – when this new government-run health insurance plans starts to cost too much, is Congress going to start breaking its promises? Will it change the rules? [...]

[M]aybe at first Congress repeals the requirement that the government-run plan has to form a network. Next, Congress might allow the government plan to start paying lower rates than private insurers – just like Medicare and Medicaid. At that point, Congress might let the government-run plan dip into the treasury from time to time to keep the government plan solvent. This would increase government costs for everyone.

As the government takes more and more control over the plan, providers would get paid less and taxpayers would end up paying more. Rates for the government-run health insurance plan would be lower than private insurers because the government can impose lower rates by law – also known as price-fixing. This is a common talking point for supporters of the government run plan. They say the government can use its influence to lower costs. But as the government cuts payments to providers, costs will go up for everyone in the private market.

Slowly but surely the government plan would take over the market. Eventually, all the promises about creating a level playing field have been broken, and we would be left with a single-payer, government-run health insurance program. The simple truth is supporters of a government plan absolutely intend for this to be the outcome.

The question is, can Grassley convince Baucus of the same thing?

Mike Lillis covers Congress for the Washington Independent, a Center for Independent Media site.

Comments

  • desmoinesdem

    More like, can AHIP convince Baucus not to include a real public option? Having looked up Baucus' donors at Open Secrets, I think they can.

  • monashaw

    We don't need a public option anyway. That failed in Massachusetts and only served to make big insurance bigger and greedier. We need single-payer for any hope for all people having fair access to healthcare.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3SI5naKbsQ

  • monashaw

    We don't need a public option anyway. That failed in Massachusetts and only served to make big insurance bigger and greedier. We need single-payer for any hope for all people having fair access to healthcare.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3SI5naKbsQ

  • monashaw

    We don't need a public option anyway. That failed in Massachusetts and only served to make big insurance bigger and greedier. We need single-payer for any hope for all people having fair access to healthcare.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3SI5naKbsQ

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