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Euthanasia rumor continues to dog Grassley
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) continues to deliver a mixed message about his widely publicized statement that the government would have the authority to “pull the plug on grandma” under a Democratic health care reform bill.
The quotation, first uttered by Grassley at a town hall forum in Winterset but reiterated later in the day and in subsequent press releases, referred to a misconception of a provision in legislation currently in the House dealing with end-of-life planning. After the national media, Iowa Democrats and even President Barack Obama criticized Grassley for spreading the debunked theory, he began walking his statement back.
First, a Grassley aide told the Washington Post that the senator does not think the House provision would in fact give the government such authority in deciding when and how people die. Then Sunday, during an interview with the CBS program Face the Nation, he agreed that the legislation wouldn’t do what he’s been saying it would do.
But Monday at a town hall forum Pocahontas, he danced the line between killing the rumor and continuing to spread it. According to The Des Moines Register, Grassley said anyone saying the bill would allow the government to make end-of-life decisions for older Americans is not being truthful.
However, The Register reports that he followed up that statement by telling his constituents that they have every right to be concerned about the end-of-life provision because of fear of health care rationing.
The topic came up again when a questioner told Grassley that when he turns 80 that President Obama is going to tell him when to die. Grassley did not address the misconception or correct the questioner.
The man also tells Grassley that people should be concerned because Obama is “acting like a little Hitler,” and that he would solve the problem by taking his gun to Washington, D.C., “if enough of you will go with me.”
“I want to make it clear that President Obama, I agree with him on a lot of things,” Grassley said to the man. “He’s doing what he thinks he was elected to do. I tend to disagree with a good part of it, but I don’t ascribe any ulterior motives to it.”
Below is video of the exchange: