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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Sep 24, 2009

Amid the hysteria on both sides of the health-care debate, Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley is a voice of reason.

Grassley issued a statement Tuesday regarding the Senate Finance Committee’s efforts to push through a health-care bill.

In his statement, Grassley said the American people want to decide for themselves what doctor they want to see. They also oppose health-care rationing, something common in government-run plans in other countries.

“When the focus of reform should be on reducing health costs, these taxes do the opposite – they increase health costs,” Grassley said.

Grassley also criticized provisions in the bill that would allow using federal funds to subsidize elective abortions.

He also had issues with no provision for prevention of identity theft.

“It does not allow information sharing with the Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration to detect and preclude the multiple use of the same Social Security number,” said Grassley.

Yet another problem is that designating Indian tribes as Express Lane Agencies would allow them to enroll anyone under 22 in Medicaid and CHIP without verification of citizenship.

Grassley was particularly adamant in his opposition to mandating purchase coverage.

“I think we also have to examine where the idea to mandate purchase of coverage originated. The idea originated with the health insurance industry,” Grassley said.

Still another issue, something Grassley and other Republicans have addressed for years, is medical malpractice reform which he said is not addressed in the bill.

“I hope that at some point, the White House and the leadership will want to see the mistake that they made by ending our collaborative bipartisan work. I hope at some point they will want to let that bipartisan work begin again,” Grassley said.

While some hard-line Republicans have criticized Grassley for working with Democrats on health-care legislation, he has continued to try to hammer out a compromise.

Grassley should be lauded for his efforts to find a health-care compromise that works. Rather than take a partisan direction, he has tried to find a solution.

Let’s just hope the Senate Finance Committee, and Senate, does the same.