Chuck Grassley says it doesn't matter that he voted seven times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, because Congress doesn't have the votes to do it anymore.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) snapped at a voter and callously dismissed her concerns after she asked him to consider the consequences of his and the Republican Party’s repeated attempts to destroy health care coverage for millions.
The exchange between Grassley and a voter at a recent town hall was captured on video by Progress Iowa. The voter explained to Grassley that should he and the GOP have their way, she would be left without coverage and could die.
“What is your plan to keep millions of Americans like myself covered?” she asked, adding that without the "life-guaranteeing medication" she is able to get under the ACA, she would "probably be dead in two months."
In response, Grassley scoffed at her worries and falsely claimed that the health care law is not under immediate threat — even though Republicans have spent the last 9 years trying to kill the law enacted by President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, and even though the the Trump administration is backing a federal lawsuit that would completely repeal the ACA.
Grassley mentioned that lawsuit during his response to the voter's question — but he dismissively claimed there's no need to worry, because he doesn't believe the courts will actually do what Trump wants and declare the ACA unconstitutional.
"You voted seven times to repeal [the ACA]," the voter pressed.
"Yes," Grassley said.
"Why?" the voter asked.
"Well, first of all, it's not going to get repealed," Grassley said — causing audience members to gasp and murmur in shock.
After some more back and forth, Grassley argued that it doesn't matter if he voted seven times to repeal Obamacare — not because it was a mistake to do so, but because Congress no longer has the votes to actually do it.
"The last time we voted for repeal was when McCain voted the other way, and there's no chance of repealing it now," Grassley snapped, leaning down into the voter's face.
"Besides, if we pass it in the Senate, we wouldn't get it through the United States House of Representatives. So what are you worried about?" he scoffed.
It was a cold response to a serious question, and it highlights why Americans simply do not trust Republicans on such life-or-death issues. A new poll from Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that Democrats enjoy a 17-percentage point advantage over Republicans on who they trust on health care.
Grassley’s votes to repeal, in concert with other Republican efforts, would kick millions off of health insurance and dramatically raise premiums for others.
It would be a disaster for Americans — especially those, like the Iowa voter who spoke up, who have pre-existing conditions and would lose protections without the ACA.
And Grassley clearly doesn't care.
“I don’t know why that question was so hard [for Grassley] to answer,” the woman said later in the video.
The long-serving senator told voters two years ago that he doesn’t even understand the basic costs of health care, despite his tireless efforts to rip it away from millions of people.
Trump has vowed to “terminate” health care for at least 20 million people. He is aided by congressional allies like Grassley, who mock and bully those who have the nerve to point out the harms of Republican policies.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.