Frank, Dodd, Grassley Speak Their Minds
News outlets are searching out interesting quotes from players in the health reform debate.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, remains on the fence about several provisions in a Democratic plan, The Washington Post reports: "Winning over the Senate Finance Committee's ranking Republican would represent a major coup for Democrats and a rare defection from the GOP party line for Grassley, a populist at heart but a loyal Republican according to his voting record. Not even Grassley can tell where he eventually will end up, but he is making the most of the attention he is getting from the White House. Over lunch with Obama last month, the senator complained that certain Environmental Protection Agency pollution policies were harming Iowa farmers. He has since met with several senior White House officials and is negotiating a visit to his state by EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson" (Murray, 6/19).
CongressDaily focused on Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn: "As the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee wrapped up a second day of public wrangling over a 600-page health overhaul, the panel's Democratic leader said bipartisanship isn't his top priority. 'My goal here is to write a good bill. My goal is not bipartisanship,' said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who is chairing the markup proceedings while HELP Chairman Edward Kennedy undergoes treatment for brain cancer. 'That can help you write a good bill, but it is not an end in itself'" (Hunt, 6/19).
"'Certainly, stalling it is not helping it at this point,' Dodd said. 'My job is to be fair and to keep the process moving forward,'" Dodd told Dow Jones Newswires (Yoest, 6/18).
On the House side, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said he agrees with Obama that there are some places in Europe where single-payer systems work, CNSNews.com reports: "As prime minister of Britain, 'Margaret Thatcher considered it a great attack on her when people said she was trying to pick apart health care,' said Frank. 'Britain goes way beyond a single-payer. That's socialized medicine. Scandinavia, much of Western Europe,' have a single-payer system that works" (Lucas, 6/19).
Even as the interim communications director for the White House, Anita Dunn is focused on health care, The Washington Post reports in a separate story. "'As we like to say, if it was easy, somebody else would have done it,' Dunn says. Dunn started out in Democratic politics in the late '70s, and she is well liked by the media and politicians for her no-nonsense, self-effacing style" (Romano, 6/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.