Iowa’s Grassley predicts ‘scaled down’ health bill will pass

Arguing that the town hall forums of August have “changed the direction” of the health care reform debate, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), said Thursday that he nonetheless expects a bill to pass before Christmas — though it “may be kind of miniature to what we’re talking about.”

Grassley, on the front lines of the year’s thorny health reform debate, has been impressed by the larger-than-usual public gatherings that have stolen headlines throughout the month, referring to them Thursday as “democracy in action.” Still, the Gang of Six member was quick to point out that the future of health reform hinges on the collective experience of Congress, not his alone.

“You need the judgment of all 535 members of Congress on whether or not the town meetings have changed the direction of health care,” Grassley said during a teleconference with reporters. “I think they probably have changed the direction, but it’s difficult for me to say how much.

“But I believe [the bill] will be a little more scaled down than what we were originally thinking when we left for August summer break.”

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