Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Committee on Finance, said that during town hall meetings this week in Iowa, turnout has been perhaps 10 times what he usually sees, and one thing is on their minds - health care reform proposals.
Grassley said the mood of the people he's seeing is often fearful, and while they are strongly expressing opinions on both sides of the issue, more seem against the action proposed for Congress than for it.
The senator counts himself as one of them.
"The bill passed by the House committees is so poorly cobbled together that it will have all kinds of unintended consequences, including making taxpayers fund health care subsidies for illegal immigrants," he said. "On the end-of-life issue, there's a big difference between a simple educational campaign, as some advocates want, and the way the House committee-passed bill pays physicians to advise patients about end of life care and rates physician quality of care based on the creation of and adherence to orders for end-of-life care, while at the same time creating a government-run program that is likely to lead to the rationing of care for everyone.
"On the Finance Committee, we are working very hard to avoid unintended consequences by methodically working through the complexities of all of these issues and policy options. That methodical approach continues. We dropped end-of-life provisions from consideration entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly. Maybe others can defend a bill like the Pelosi bill that leaves major issues open to interpretation, but I can't."
Grassley said that he can't recall any other issue before Congress ever drawing as much public response.