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Delivering your job applications to Chuck Grassley

Yesterday, our organizers in Iowa delivered thousands of job applications – your job applications – to Chuck Grassley.

For those who need to be caught up, Chuck Grassley has a unique solution to the health care crisis. He, of course, gets great health insurance coverage as a Senator, paid for by you and me. But he doesn’t think that he should vote for a bill that gives us coverage just as good. No, that would be too easy. Instead, Grassley thinks you should get a job like his – a job with the federal government – if you want quality, affordable health care like he gets.

Watch:

In response, we’ve asked folks to apply for a job with Chuck Grassley to get health care. Yesterday, those job applications were delivered:

Members of the Healthcare for America Now group held a public forum Monday at the Waterloo Public Library calling on Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to support national health insurance legislation.

Betty Ahrens, executive director of the Iowa Citizen’s action network, and Scott Grapp, president of Local 838 in Waterloo, headed the forum. They pointed to what they called a "flippant" remark made by Grassley at a town hall meeting in Waukon June 30. The senator told a man asking why he couldn’t have the same health insurance plan that Grassley has, "You can. Go work for the federal government."

In a video of the remark, the statement does get some laughs and it has now become a hook for HCAN. The group offered mock federal employment applications for the nearly dozen people who attended Monday. Those applications, plus another approximately 400 signed by backers of a national health insurance plan were dropped off at Grassley’s office after the event.

"We don’t need flippant responses," Grapp said. "We need real reform."

Grassley has since dug in his heels:

In a news conference call July 15, Grassley said he wasn’t joking when he made the statement.

"I thought I was giving a very candid answer," he said. "It wasn’t that I was flippant and trying to make a joke out of it.

"If you want exactly what federal employees have, you’ll have to become a federal employee."

Isn’t that amazing? Senator Grassley really, truly believes that the only way to get coverage as good as he gets is to get a job like his. The thought doesn’t even enter his mind that as a legislator, he could, you know, change the law and pass health care reform so we can all have quality, affordable health care.

Senator Grassley’s remark wasn’t flippant, apparently. He really meant it. This is a measure of how out-of-touch Grassley really is, that he thinks this is a good answer to a constituent who asks why he can’t have health care as good as Senators get.

Sorry, Senator, that’s not a solution.

(also posted at the NOW! blog)

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Jason Rosenbaum

Jason Rosenbaum

Writer, musician, activist. Currently consulting for Bill Halter for U.S. Senate and a fellow at the New Organizing Institute.

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