Conservatives Pressure Grassley On Health Care

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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the top Republican on the health-care-immersed Senate Finance Committee, has been working as actively with Democrats on health care as any other Republican on Capitol Hill--and that's just what the conservative American Future Fund doesn't like about him.

The organization, an Iowa-based conservative/free-market advocacy group, is pressuring Grassley to oppose Democrat-led health reform efforts as Congress's August recess nears, asking its supporters to call or e-mail Grassley's office.

"Senator Grassley, we know that government-run health care is not the answer. We only need look overseas and to the north, at our neighbors, to see the shambles of their systems. America is the last, best and greatest hope for the world. Don't steal that away from future generations just to score some political points," the group's e-mail alert reads. It was sent as a response to Grassley's comment, quoted in the Quad City Times, that "If we don't do something on health care reform, the voters are more apt to blame Republicans than Democrats."

Grassley is at the center of congressional health care negotiations as reform backers wait on the Senate Finance Committee to finalize its plans for how to fund health reform. Grassley has been participating in bipartisan negotiations with committee members Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Kent Conrad (D-ND), and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM).

It's questionable how much weight Grassley would give to any calls and e-mails that might come from AFF's national constituency outside his home state, but this is mostly a preview of the conservative pressure moderate legislators, Republican and Democrat alike, will face in their home states and districts during August recess and beyond as health care gets closer to a vote.

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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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