Chuck Grassley

United States Senator from Iowa





History: Grassley Recalls the 2009 Obamacare Debate

Aug 09, 2018

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley is releasing five videos, one every day this week, looking back at memorable moments from his annual 99 county meetings and how they have helped inform his work for Iowans. Grassley holds at least one question-and-answer session with Iowans in each of Iowa’s 99 counties annually, and has done so every year since he was elected to the United States Senate. This week, Grassley is holding meetings in 16 different counties. Today’s video recalls Iowans’ objection to government-run health care after the 2009 proposal of Obamacare. The video can be found here and the text can be found below.

Nearly ten years after passage of ObamaCare, America is still deeply divided about health care.

For nearly two years leading up to its final passage on a party-line vote, I actively sought out the views of my constituents. At that time, I was very involved in efforts to achieve a bipartisan solution on health care reform. For months and months, my office phone rang off the hook. Constituent emails flooded my mail system. Congress was poised to re-direct one-sixth of the American economy. And put an even bigger chunk of America’s health care system under the umbrella of the federal government.

During the summer of 2009, my county meeting in Winterset reflected how fired up Iowans felt about nationalized health care. An overflow crowd prompted me to move the meeting outside to the town square. So that everyone could listen and participate. People on all sides of the issue gave me a piece of their mind. I’ve learned through many years of holding county meetings, a very simple truth. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

I’m elected to represent Iowans. It’s my job to listen with an open mind and open ears. Keeping in touch keeps me accountable. Direct dialogue between elected officials and voters strengthens the process of representative government. Iowans made it clear to me they didn’t want Big Government to Get Bigger. They didn’t want government-run health care or an individual mandate. Whatever the issue, my North Star is pure and simple: My votes are intended to represent the views of Iowans. Keeping in touch keeps me accountable.