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Grassley: Co-Op Critics Don’t Know How They’re Run

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) made headlines yesterday for blasting the co-op insurance model of health care reform as a slippery slope toward government-run health care.

“The president himself said you can imagine a cooperative meeting that definition of a public option,” the Senate’s second-ranking Republican told reporters during a press call.

Today, Sen. Charles Grassley (Iowa), the top ranking Republican among the Senate Finance Committee’s so-called “Gang of Six,” fired back, maintaining that critics of co-ops simply don’t understand how they work. From today’s interview with National Review:

“I don’t think a lot of senators have an understanding of the 150-year history of cooperatives in the United States,” he said. “They’re basic to the economy of the Midwest. Those of us who have an understanding of them know that they’re consumer-run, with all the benefits going to consumer members. There is no federal control over them. There is no government control over them any more than the control states have over other health-care issues. I see them as an opportunity to enhance health-care competition — just as cooperatives do in other areas of the economy.”

It seems the Democrats aren’t the only party splintering on an approach to insurance reform.

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