Health Care Advocates urge Senator not to leave Iowans at the mercy of the private health insurance industry
Des Moines, Iowa – Just a few hours after President Obama asked White House Health Care Policy Summit participants not to take anything off the table, Iowa Senator Charles Grassley took something off the table – giving Iowans the choice of a public health insurance plan so they are no longer at the mercy of the private health insurance industry. Today, Iowans call on Senator Grassley to explain why he insists on putting health insurance industry profits before Iowans’ health.
During his opening remarks at the summit in Washington, DC on Thursday, President Obama said, “Every idea must be considered. Every option must be on the table.” However, during the closing Q&A session, Senator Grassley stated, “[T]here’s a lot of us that feel that the public option that the government is an unfair competitor and that we’re going to get an awful lot of crowd out, and we have to keep what we have now strong, and make it stronger.”
“Senator Grassley is clearly choosing to side with the private health insurance industry rather than stand up for what’s right for the people of Iowa,” said Betty Ahrens of Iowa Citizen Action Network (ICAN). “Senator Grassley should be standing with the President and fighting for quality, affordable health care we all can count on and not leaving us at the mercy of the private health insurance industry.”
Earlier in the day on Thursday, Senator Grassley joined four other Republican Senators in signing on to a letter to the President opposing giving everyone the choice of a public health insurance plan.
“It is remarkable to see Republicans coming out against choice and competition in health care, but no surprise that they don’t want choice if it threatens the profits of the private health insurance industry,” said Richard Kirsch, National Campaign Manager for Health Care for America Now. “President Obama’s plan would provide Americans a choice of a private or public health insurance plan which is essential to controlling costs and assuring that Americans have the options of a plan that will put their health before profits. If private health insurance companies are really more efficient than government, then they shouldn’t be concerned about competing with a public health insurance plan.”
ICAN is part of Health Care for America Now (HCAN) – a national grassroots campaign of more than 800 organizations representing 30 million people dedicated to winning quality, affordable health care we all can count on in 2009. Health Care for America Now and its principles for reform are supported by President Obama and more than 185 Members of Congress.