Grassley: Obama needs to lead on health

June 28, 2009 at 3:00 PM

WASHINGTON, June 28 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama will need to exercise "presidential leadership" to overcome opposition from both parties on U.S. healthcare reform, a GOP senator says.

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week," said Obama will need to use his powers of persuasion on congressional Democrats as well as Republicans to produce a bipartisan reform plan.

"I think it's going to take presidential leadership to get people of his party to see that we shouldn't be subsidizing high-end health insurance policies that drive up inflation in health insurance, maybe, 1 or 2 percentage points of the 7 or 8 (points) that it goes up every year," Grassley said.

He said Obama knows Republican senators oppose taxing employer provided benefits as a way to pay for reform measures, adding, "It's going to take, in order to win over Republicans, presidential leadership in that direction."

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