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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 repeats euthanasia claim

By Jason Hancock | 08.12.09 | 8:00 pm

PANORA — Promising not to sell out his core values in crafting health care reform legislation, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) brandished his conservative credentials at a town hall forum Wednesday afternoon.

After explaining the legislative process and his own efforts as a key Republican negotiator on health care reform,  the discussion ultimately returned to the false claim, which Grassley also made earlier in the day, that a provision in a House health care bill could lead to forced euthanasia of the nation’s elderly population.

U.S. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks to a crowd in Panora Wednesday afternoon.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks to a crowd in Panora Wednesday afternoon.

The gathering, the third of the senator’s day, began with Grassley explaining the reasons why it is important for him to be a “finger in the dike” of health care reform, saying without the work of the Senate Finance Committee, a much more partisan bill would have already been passed by the Senate.

“It’s better to be in the room and know what’s going on than outside the room,” Grassley told the crowd of more than 300.

But Grassley quickly returned to the popular myth he discussed earlier in the day during a similar town hall meeting in Winterset — that a Democratic health care bill will allow the federal government the power to “pull the plug on grandma.”

Despite the fact that the idea has been thoroughly debunked by political analysts, policy experts, and even a Republican senator, Grassley maintained that the current proposals moving through congress leave the door open to government-mandated euthanasia.

The proposal to which Grassley referred would merely require Medicare to pay for end-of-life counseling sessions for anyone who would like it. It would also be completely voluntary. In Iowa, a similar law is already on the books, and Grassley’s grandson, state Rep. Pat Grassley (R-New Hartford), voted for it in 2008.

President Barack Obama pointed out at a town hall yesterday that the provision in question would allow Medicare to pay doctors to counsel patients about end-of-life care issues and would not, as he put it, “pull the plug on grandma because we decided that it’s too expensive to let her live anymore.”

Regardless, Grassley said the fear still exists that health care will have to be rationed, and that older Americans will get the short end of the stick.

“When you couple this with all the other fears that people have, and you have what they do in England, then you get the idea that someone is going to decide grandma’s lived too long,” he said.

Grassley is adamantly opposed to any government involvement in end-of-life planning, even if it is simply to provide money making it possible, because those decisions should instead be made in church.

“I think the best thing to do if you want to get people to think about end of life, number one Jesus Christ is the way to start,” he said. “But after that, in the physical life as opposed to your eternal life, it ought to be done within the family and considered a religious and ethical issue and not something that politicians deal with.”

Iowa Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley slammed Grassley earlier in the day for demeaning seniors who want the choice of consulting with their doctor about important end-of-life health care decisions.

“Now is the time for a rational discussion of health care concerns, not a time to spread fear among seniors,” Braley said.

Overall, Grassley gave plenty of red meat to a crowd that was overwhelmingly conservative, seemingly an attempt to answer his critics who have threatened him with a primary challenge if he continues to work towards health care reform. At one point, he even read from a list compiled on the way to the meeting of things he’s voted against, such as the bailout of General Motors and the federal stimulus package. He also called for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution mandating a balanced budget.

Still, it was health care that dominated the forum. Grassley vowed to continue to work with Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana to craft a “consensus health care reform bill,” but vowed that he will vigorously oppose any legislation with a public option.

“I’ve said it several times, but I will not vote for a public option,” he said.

Below is video of Grassley discussing “death panels” in Panora.

Follow Jason Hancock on Twitter


Comments

  • TeachMoore

    I am disappointed that Sen. Grassley chooses to use fear, especially aimed towards the elderly or their families, as a tactic in what should be a very serious, reasoned debate. This is shameful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Lyons/1493037894 Jim Lyons

    I was proud to help Senator Obama in Iowa during the caucuses. I am not proud of the actions and words of people like Senator Grassley fanning the rhetoric of fear to kill health care reform.

    For shame, Senator. The people of Iowa deserve better – much, much better. If anyone should be concerned about fear, it's Senator Grassley – he should be very afraid that he will keep his seat in the Senate.

  • barbarawilson

    For shame on Senator Grassley for lying about “pulling the plug on Grandma!” This is NOT in the HB 3200 or in any other bill approved by the committees of the House or the Senate. Why would he deliberately lie? Could it be that he gets over $2M in campaign contributions from the health care industry? LIAR LIAR — he should know better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/slakingfool Aric West

    We become what we fear most.

  • RegularJoe

    I'm thinking perhaps it's time for Chuck to get some supervision….seems senility is settling in. Back to the farm, Chuck, where you can't do any more harm to America.

  • dave233

    Grassley is out and out lying here. The bill simply allows you to have a conversation with your doctor about YOUR wishes for end of life care – whether it's to be wired and tubed to every machine, or to go home with your family and how that might be possible – and have that optional conversation with your doctor PAID FOR, instead of YOU having to pay out of your own pocket. PS – a REPUBLICAN congressperson wrote this provision into the healthcare bill, pro-life Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia.

  • dave233

    Grassley is out and out lying here. The bill simply allows you to have a conversation with your doctor about YOUR wishes for end of life care – whether it's to be wired and tubed to every machine, or to go home with your family and how that might be possible – and have that optional conversation with your doctor PAID FOR, instead of YOU having to pay out of your own pocket. PS – a REPUBLICAN congressperson wrote this provision into the healthcare bill, pro-life Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia.

  • RegularJoe

    I'm thinking perhaps it's time for Chuck to get some supervision….seems senility is settling in. Back to the farm, Chuck, where you can't do any more harm to America.

  • dave233

    Grassley is out and out lying here. The bill simply allows you to have a conversation with your doctor about YOUR wishes for end of life care – whether it's to be wired and tubed to every machine, or to go home with your family and how that might be possible – and have that optional conversation with your doctor PAID FOR, instead of YOU having to pay out of your own pocket. PS – a REPUBLICAN congressperson wrote this provision into the healthcare bill, pro-life Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia.

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