After saying that Democratic health care reform could allow the government to “pull the plug on grandma,” calling the public option a “predator,” and saying he’d vote against his own compromise legislation if it didn’t have overwhelming GOP support, Senate Finance Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) says its time for Democrats and Republicans to work together on health care reform.
“I’ve said all year that something as big and important as health care legislation should have broad-based support,” Grassley told The Hill.
“So far, no one has developed that kind of support, either in Congress or at the White House. That doesn’t mean we should quit. It means we should keep working until we can put something together that gets that widespread support.”
Grassley’s entreaty may come a bit too late. Senior White House officials, including Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs publicly admitted today that most Republicans aren’t interested in health care reform. Taking Grassley at his word, that suggests there’s no reason for him to continue participating in negotiations. And taking the administration at its word, it may just be the case that bipartisan health care talks are dead.