This week’s headlines read like a movie script. There is upset in the Iowa film industry and in Iowa government over allegations that state tax credits designed to encourage making movies in Iowa, and creating jobs, were misused.
Nothing riles taxpayers more than accusations that their money is being misspent ... except maybe, the prospect of millions, or billions, of dollars going to new programs that they don’t approve. Case in point: “Healthcare Reform.”
New Hartford Republican Charles Grassley says he’s spent hours in conference rooms with five other senators, three of them democrats, talking about one thing--Health care reform.
This group has gotten the name “The Gang of Six.”
Their proposals on health care reform have led to higher than usual numbers of people at town hall meetings across the country, including those held by Senator Grassley in Iowa.
Sen. Grassley: “This turnout is wonderful.”
(August 12th, Panora, IA)
“My passion is prevention and wellness.”
“What I don't understand, is why those same limits won't be applied to large group plans?”
you can do to help us with the insurance rates?”
“I would like to see congress work better to create a partnership between private insurance and public insurance.”
The questions and comments were nearly the same at every stop.
(August 12th, Adel, IA)
“We have public options in secondary school system today, University of Iowa, Iowa State and UNI are all basically public options as opposed to Drake University and other being private options. It work.”
“I have a question for you. In Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution, where it talks about the limited opportunities of the government, where does it state the government has these powers to take over healthcare?”
At every step, Grassley listened and responded.
Senator Charles Grassley: “If it's not a bill that I think is good for Iowa, and reflects the opinion I've got now, this is my 2845th town hall meeting since I went to the senate. So I believe in grass roots democracy. I believe in communicating with people. I believe in answering all my mail. so all I can tell you is I plan to make a judgment on what I feel the people of Iowa have been telling me and I've heard you.”
Its been a month since the town meetings in Iowa and back in Washington – agreement on health care reform is still not happening.
(Grassley: Sept. 23) “We were about this close, but that close had several very controversial issues that needed to be worked out. I suppose if we would have stayed in session for as a group of six for another 2 or 3 weeks, we could have had a bipartisan agreement.”