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Grassley Says Senators Will Write Their Own Healthcare Bill

John Pemble/IPR file photo
Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says the Senate won't spend its time analyzing and commenting on the House bill to overhaul Obamacare.

As the push to replace the Affordable Care Act moves to the Senate, Iowa's senior senator says that chamber will avoid some of the missteps he saw in the House.

Republican Chuck Grassley says the Senate won't bring a healthcare bill to the floor for a vote until 51 members have committed support. He's hopeful that majority will result in a smooth vote, on the first try.

"The House made a public relations disaster a month ago," Grassley says, "when they said they were going to bring it up on Wednesday and then Thursday and then Friday and then they didn't bring it up until a month later. We're not going to go through that."

Grassley says the Senate also isn't going to "spend all of our time analyzing the House bill and commenting on the House bill."

Instead, Grassley says he and his colleagues will write their own bill.

"The Senate bill should address the high cost of care, it should return states to their rightful place as the main regulators of health insurance," Grassley says. "Iowa is different from California, our health insurance regulations should reflect that. The goal of our work is to provide choice and affordable coverage to the American people."

He adds that the rapid increase in health care costs is a burden, particularly to those who do not get their insurance through an employer. That same group also faces challenges as some of the companies providing policies in Iowa for individuals have made plans to leave the state.

Grassley says once senators pass their own bill, they'll work in committee to hammer out differences with the one from the House. He's confident the process will result in a compromise the president will sign.

Repealing and replacing Obamacare has been a priority of the Trump administration.

Amy Mayer is a reporter based in Ames