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U.S. senator uses Tacoma Narrows Bridge as a metaphor for Obamacare

During his statement, in which he vehemently opposed Obamacare, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) compared the health care law to the old Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

RELATED: The guide to surviving under the GOP health care plan

“Before I dive into details, I want to share a story about a bridge in the state of Washington,” he said on the Senate floor. “Tacoma Narrows bridge, built in 1940, was the world’s third largest suspension bridge. It was considered a state-of-the-art masterpiece of 20th-century engineering. But the bridge was set to fail from the very beginning.”

After giving a bit more history on the bridge, Grassley comes to this conclusion:

“Like Obamacare, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge wasn’t built to last. Like Galloping Gertie, Obamacare is on a self-destruction course with destiny.

“Galloping Gertie collapsed by a flawed design that was unable to withstand high winds. And every day that goes by without a bipartisan solution to fix the flaws, Obamacare is moving the American people closer to a calamity.”

“Sooner rather than later, Obamacare will become its own bridge to nowhere with no insurance plan on its exchanges,” he continued. “And millions of Americans will be left twisting high and dry. The warning signs can no longer be ignored.”

The GOP health care replacement for Obamacare was pushed through the House earlier this month. The Senate is considering the bill.

RELATED: Democrats react to GOP health care vote

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated in March that the GOP bill would end coverage for 24 million people over a decade. That office also said the bill’s subsidies would be less generous for many, especially lower-earning and older people not yet 65 and qualifying for Medicare.

The bill faces an uncertain fate in the Senate. Lawmakers say major changes are likely to happen to the bill.

Until then, maybe someone can help Grassley pronounce “Puget Sound.”

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

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About the Author

Kipp Robertson

Kipp joined the team in February 2015. He's worked as a reporter in the greater Seattle area since graduating from Western Washington University in 2010. Email Kipp at


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