Grassley hits back on Dem healthcare ads

The charge stems from an amendment to the Affordable Care Act that Grassley wrote. It moved lawmakers and their staff out of the healthcare system for federal employees and requires them to buy coverage through the law's new insurance exchanges.

Repeal, then, would move lawmakers and staff back into the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program — where the government, like most employers, covers part of the cost.

Democrats have painted that as an unfair benefit for members of Congress. But Grassley said Democrats would have been content to leave the playing field uneven as they passed the Affordable Care Act.

“Remember, it was Republicans who made this law apply to Congress, not the Democrats who wrote the law," Grassley said in a statement. "The Democrats were perfectly fine with applying Obamacare to the entire economy but leaving themselves out."

Grassley also noted that some leadership aides are still allowed to use the federal employees' program.

"Despite passage of my amendment, Democrats still carved out exemptions for high-level staff, despite Republican efforts to undo the carve-outs, and Democrats refused to make Obamacare apply to the White House itself," he said.

Grassley's statement came in response to a New York Times story Friday about Democrats' line of attack, which The Hill first reported in July.