UPDATE: Video is now working.
In a controversial speech on the House floor yesterday, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) said that the Republican alternative health care proposals would force sick Americans to “die quickly.” Grayson’s sadly accurate statement wasn’t meant to say that Republicans want people to die, but rather, as Igor Volsky explained, their opposition to meaningful health reform would lead to those very unfortunate circumstances.
Republicans are outraged at his hyperbole — so outraged that Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) has called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to officially rebuke Grayson. Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) initially said that he was going to introduce a resolution reprimanding Grayson, but recently took to the floor to instead request that he “apologize to our leader.”
The GOP outrage is empty. After all, neither Price nor McHenry called on their fellow Republican colleagues to apologize after making absurdly false comments about Democratic plans in the past few months on the House floor:
– “Last week Democrats released a health care bill which essentially said to America’s seniors: Drop dead.” [Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL), 7/21/09]
— “They’re going to save money by rationing care, getting you in a long line. Places like Canada, United Kingdom, and Europe. People die when they’re in line.” [Rep. Steve King (R-IA), 7/15/09]
— “The Republican plan will] make sure we bring down the cost of health care for all Americans and that ensures affordable access for all Americans and is pro-life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government.” [Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), 7/28/09]
— “That’s exactly what’s going on in Canada and Great Britain today…and a lot of people are going to die.” [Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), 7/10/09]
— “One in five people have to die because they went to socialized medicine! … I would hate to think that among five women, one of ‘em is gonna die because we go to socialized care.” [Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), 7/15/09]
Watch a video compilation of their remarks:
In comments on the House floor today, Price said that Grayson’s remarks were a “breach of decorum.” “I call on all Democrat members of the House and all Democrat leaders to demand that he apologize. Just as one of our members did earlier.” Presumably, Price was talking about Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), who infamously shouted “You lie!” during President Obama’s joint speech to Congress. Of course, Wilson never apologized to the House, despite Republican and Democratic requests that he do so.
You could say Rep. Grayson’s comments were fear inducing and worrisome. This would be sort of in line with the Republican outrage.
The difference is that the Republicans have been trying to induce fear over lies and fantasy while Grayson’s remarks were chillingly honest.
Sometimes the truth is scary and it takes an act of courage to address the issue. Kudos to Grayson.