Grassley said while tax rates are an important part of the conversation, so are healthcare costs.

“The conclusion is undeniable that we must gain control of healthcare spending,” Grassley said. “Taxes and revenue, those conversations are very important too, but conversations about healthcare should not be postponed.”

Grassley said President Obama’s proposal in the Affordable Care Act, which extends the life of Medicare, doesn’t do enough to protect the healthcare program.

“If we’re going to argue for reducing the costs of healthcare, then we must actually do it,” Grassley said. “Or we can simply take cash out of the system and call it reform as the president is proposing.”

Grassley said that Obama’s plan does not solve the larger problem of rising healthcare spending.

“We’re $16 trillion in debt,” Grassley said on the floor Monday. “One out of every four dollars that we spend in the next decade will be on Medicare and Medicaid.

“If we want to see Medicare and Medicaid survive, we need to be willing in to ask fundamental questions and seek real solutions.”

Grassley said he believes federal funds are not being spent wisely on the problem.

“The money being spent is being spent inefficiently and ineffectively,” Grassley said. “Opposition to ideas should not stop Democrats from making fundamental changes to address this unsustainable growth.”