Chuck Grassley

United States Senator from Iowa

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Grassley Launches 25 Open Forums Across Iowa

Mar 16, 1997


Grassley Launches 25 Open Forums Across Iowa


Senator Seeks Input from Iowans on Aging, Health Care Issues


Melissa Kearney

202/224-0484


? Linking two high-priority issues affecting virtually every citizen in Iowa, Sen. Chuck Grassley, the new chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, today announced he will lead a series of open forums in more than one-fourth of Iowa's 99 counties to gather information on health care and aging issues.

Starting Tuesday, March 25, Grassley will spend two weeks on the road meeting with Iowans in Waverly, Fort Dodge, Rockwell City, Emmetsburg, Forest City, Northwood, Cresco, Decorah, Waukon, Elkader, West Union, New Hampton, Osage, Charles City, Cedar Falls/Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Anamosa, Tipton, Maquoketa, Muscatine, Wapello, Burlington, Keosauqua, Mount Pleasant, Iowa City, Davenport, and Des Moines. At the final scheduled event, Grassley will address the Gerontology Society of Iowa, on Friday, April 4, in Des Moines.

Under Grassley's leadership, the Senate aging panel will study issues affecting every generation in American society. At his inaugural hearing on March 6, Chairman Grassley focused on meeting the challenges of the baby boomer retirement. "Starting in 12 years, America will experience the greatest demographic shift in the history of the country," he said. "It's critical we are prepared."

Seizing the opportunity to maximize his leadership role and make a difference for Iowans, Grassley notes Iowa maintains a special position among the 50 states. Home to the nation's third largest percentage of residents age 65 and older, Iowa also ranks first in the U.S. with the highest percentage of citizens age 85 and older.

"I look forward to an open exchange and strongly encourage Iowans to attend these important meetings," said Grassley. "As Congress considers proposals to save Medicare from insolvency and studies ways to prepare for the retirement of the baby boomers, I want to be able to bring Iowans' ideas to the table and make them part of the national debate."

Although the Aging Committee does not have legislative authority or jurisdiction, Grassley also can champion the concerns of older citizens through his senior position on the Senate Finance Committee. In fact, as a member of the powerful tax-writing committee, Grassley bears direct legislative authority over Social Security; Medicare; Medicaid, aging research, pension plans; and, a host of health-related issues including, maternal and child health care programs, home health care services, health care insurance, and nursing care facilities.

Recognizing services made possible by the Older Americans Act directly affect thousands of older Iowans, Grassley noted that his series of open forums also coincide with the 25th anniversary of the senior nutrition programs authorized by the law. According to Grassley, 94,486 older Iowans were served in 1995 by congregate meal sites and home-delivered nutrition services, including Meals on Wheels. "I applaud the thousands of dedicated volunteers and Iowa's 16 Area Agencies on Aging for the good work they do to facilitate services for older residents in our local communities," said Grassley.

Leading the charge for improved access to health care in rural America, Grassley this month introduced five legislative measures designed to help Iowa Medicare recipients and protect primary and emergency health care services in rural areas. In his crusade to guarantee Iowa taxpayers and Medicare recipients fair treatment under an "egregious" Medicare reimbursement formula, Grassley is pushing to narrow the existing payment disparity and replace it with a common sense correction.

"Even though all Americans pay the same 2.9 percent payroll tax to the Medicare Trust Fund," Grassley said, "Iowa health care providers are being penalized for practicing cost-efficient medicine and Iowa Medicare patients are getting the short end of the stick."

As chairman of the Aging Committee, Grassley's goals include plans to work aggressively to curb health care fraud, review long-term health care insurance, encourage private savings for retirement, and keep tabs on the Social Security Administration.

Continuing his promise to keep communication lines open with his constituents, Grassley asks Iowans to take this opportunity and help make representative government work. "Armed with valuable input from Iowans will help me make important policy decisions," Grassley said. "It's my goal to help ensure the income and health care security for Iowans in their retirement years."

A charter member of the Aging Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, Grassley has served as an active member of the Senate Aging Committee since 1981. The following schedule provides specific information on Grassley's events in Iowa.

Tuesday, March 25, 1997


1:00-2:00 p.m.

Waverly

Host: Waverly Municipal Hospital

Hospital Cafeteria

312 Ninth St., S.W.


4:30-5:30 p.m.

Fort Dodge

Host: Trinity Regional Hospital

Oleson Conference Room

802 S. Kenyon Rd.


6:30-8:00 p.m.

Rockwell City

Rockwell City-Lytton FFA Banquet

Rockwell City-Lytton High School

1000 W. Tonawanda

Grassley is the guest speaker.


Wednesday, March 26, 1997


7:30-8:30 a.m.

Emmetsburg

Host: Palo Alto County Hospital

Health Education Room

3201 W. First St.


10:15-11:15 a.m.

Forest City

Host: Forest City Regional Medical Center

Medical Building/Lower Level; Lecture Hall

635 East Hwy. 9


12:00-1:00 p.m.

Northwood

Host: Mercy Family Care, Northwood

First Lutheran Church

309 Ninth St., N.


2:45-3:45 p.m.

Cresco

Host: Howard County Hospital

Laura Rose Lobby

235 Eighth Ave., West


4:15-5:15 p.m.

Decorah

Host: Northland Area Agency on Aging

Interstate Power Company

Meeting Room

219 W. Water St.


6:00-7:00 p.m.

Waukon

Host: Veterans Memorial Hospital

Veterans Memorial Hospital

Large Conference Room

40 First St., S.E.


Thursday, March 27, 1997


8:00-9:00 a.m.

Elkader

Host: Northland Area Agency on Aging

Elkader Senior Center/Congregate Meal Site

105 First St., NW


9:45-10:45 a.m.

West Union

Host: Northland Area Agency on Aging

West Union Senior Center

107 Armour St.


12:00-1:00 p.m.

New Hampton

New Hampton Rotary Ag Day

Pinicon Restaurant

Hwy. 63 South

2:15-3:15 p.m.

Osage

Host: Osage Senior Center

Senior Center

615 State St.


4:00-5:00 p.m.

Charles City

Host: Floyd County Memorial Hospital

Veterans Room

800 11th St.


Tuesday, April 1, 1997


7:30-8:30 a.m.

Cedar Falls

Host: Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging

Cedar Falls Senior Citizens Center

121 Fifth St.


10:15-11:15 a.m.

Cedar Rapids

Host: Heritage Area Agency on Aging

Heritage Resource Center

Kirkwood Community College

6301 Kirkwood Blvd.


12:15-1:15 p.m.

Anamosa

Host: Jones County Senior Dining Program

Jones County Senior Center

112 N. Ford St


2:15-3:15 p.m.

Tipton

Host: Cedar County Senior Citizens Organization

Cedar County Senior Center

111 Orange St.


4:15-5:15 p.m.

Maquoketa

Hosts: Jackson County Senior Center and Scenic Valley Area Agency on Aging

Jackson County Senior Center

1000 E. Quarry


Wednesday, April 2, 1997


8:30-9:30 a.m.

Muscatine

Hosts: Great River Bend Area Agency on Aging and Muscatine Commission on Aging

Clark House

117 W. Third St.


10:15-11:15 a.m.

Wapello

CC's Place

325 Van Buren


12:30-1:30 p.m.

Burlington

Autumn Heights

2830 Winegard Dr.


3:30-4:30 p.m.

Keosauqua

Host: Van Buren County Hospital

Public Health Conference Room

Hwy. 1, North


5:30-6:30 pm.

Mount Pleasant

Host: Henry County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program

Henry County Senior Citizens Center

300 W. Monroe


Thursday, April 3, 1997


8:00-9:00 a.m.

Iowa City

Host: University of Iowa

University of Iowa, Memorial Union

Madison St.


10:45-11:45 a.m.

Davenport

Host: Palmer College of Chiropractic

Campus Center, Room 104 (4th Floor)

1000 Brady St.


12:00-1:00 p.m.

Davenport

Kiwanis Ag Day Luncheon

Blackhawk Hotel

200 E. Third St.


7:00-8:00 p.m.

Des Moines

Host: Drake University Seminar Series on Aging

Olmsted Center, Building Theater

29th & University


Friday, April 4, 1997


8:30-9:30 a.m.

Des Moines

Gerontology Society of Iowa

Holiday Inn at Airport

*Open to Society members only