Grassley: Government Plan Threatens to ‘Pull the Plug on Grandma’
Jason Hancock of The Iowa Independent, TWI’s sister site, is traveling through the state today with Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), whose position as the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee makes him one of Congress’s most influential voices on this year’s contentious debate over health care reform.
Grassley is known as both a straight-shooter and a guy not prone to muck around in the swamps of petty politics. Which makes his statement today about the Democrats’ plans for health reform that much more remarkable.
“In the House bill, there is counseling for end of life,” Grassley said. “You have every right to fear. You shouldn’t have counseling at the end of life, you should have done that 20 years before. Should not have a government run plan to decide when to pull the plug on grandma.”
Of course the House bill doesn’t have any such thing. Rather, it would provide government help for people who choose, on their own accord, to seek counseling about late-in-life services like hospice care.
The AARP has launched a campaign to debunk such myths, which have spread like wildfire across the town halls of the country in recent days. The group says the claim that the government will be in charge of these decisions is patently false: “Any decidsions regarding your health will continue to be made by you, your doctor and your family — not by the government.”
But don’t take it from AARP. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), sponsor of legislation providing for Medicare coverage of option late-life services — legislation similar to the Democrats’ proposal — told The Washington Post this week that the idea that his proposal would somehow encourage government-sponsored euthanasia is “nuts.”