September 30th, 2009
06:07 PM ET
13 years ago

Grayson remains defiant on 'die quickly' remarks

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rep. Alan Grayson finally apologized - but not to Republicans."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Under fire for his claim that the GOP health care plan calls for sick people to "die quickly," Rep. Alan Grayson finally apologized - but not to Republicans.

"Last night, I gave a speech, and I'm not going to recount everything I said, but after that speech, several Republicans asked me to apologize," the Florida Democrat said in a defiant speech on the House floor Wednesday. "I would like to apologize."

Grayson then pointed to a Harvard study that reported more than 44,000 Americans die yearly because they lack health insurance. "That is ten times more than the number of Americans who have died in Iraq and who died in 9/11," he said. "But that was just once. This is every single year. That's right. Every single year. Take a look at this. Read it and weep."

"I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven't voted sooner to end this holocaust in America," he concluded.

House Republicans initially wanted to introduce a resolution condemning Grayson for breaching House decorum with his remarks on Tuesday night, but the resolution's sponsor, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, decided on Wednesday not to introduce the resolution and instead asked for Grayson to apologize to House GOP leadership.

Grayson refused to do so, and Republicans were quick to blast him for it.

"Alan Grayson not only refuses to apologize, he is doubling down on his despicable remarks and he is dragging his party with him," said Ken Spain, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is targeting Grayson in next year's midterm election. "This is an individual who has established a pathological pattern of unstable behavior. He is derailing the national debate on healthcare reform and embarrassing his constituents as a result.

Spain also called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to "end her silence and demand an apology."

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soundoff (318 Responses)
  1. LacrosseMom

    45, 000 Americans die every year because they lack healthcare.

    The GOP continue to reject, obstruct and deny healthcare coverage for Americans who need it.

    However, IF 45, 000 Americans were dying as a result of terrorist attacks, you can be sure that the Republicans would be demanding we nuke the Middle-East!

    BUT...... 45,000 Americans will die this year, because they lack healthcare, and the Republicans could care less.


    September 30, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Grayson had me laughing at his analogy about the GOP's plan (or really, their lack thereof). With this comment, he earned my respect. Screw 'em Grayson. You hit the nail on the head...and it happens to be one of the nails in lid of the GOP's coffin.

    September 30, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  3. Mr. Independent

    Grayson ... just one more example of Dem's self-destructing. Keep that mouth yapping Alan. Republicans couldn't buy better campaign propaganda. What a fool.

    September 30, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. What a Joke

    Why is it when a Democrat speaks about "dying quickly", he has to apologize, but Republicans can talk about death panels and killing granny off. If this isn't a double standard of the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is.

    September 30, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  5. donttreadonme

    His comments were way worse than the you lie comments. What a bunch of liberal hypocrites.

    By the way the libs in New York are going to illuminate the Empire State Building in RED to honor the Chinese Communist Revolution.
    Seems fitting with this group of extreme liberal dems in power.

    September 30, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. Jerry

    If 40000 people die each year because they have no health insurance, does that mean that the rest of the people who die each year have health insurance? According to 2006 data, over 2,424,000 people in this country died that year. Can we conclude that 2,386,000 people died because they had insurance? Clearly, then, having insurance is by far more dangerous than not having it!

    September 30, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  7. Keeth

    There is no need to apologize. This was not a Joe Wilson-style breach of decorum. This was not a personal attack on one person. Sorry if the truth hurts.

    September 30, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. Saad

    Go Mr. Grayson. You are a good man. Don't worry about the GOP and their spokesman/women. It's not their fault. It's ignorance's fault.

    September 30, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. gg

    People on health insurance die... Dying is a natural part of life. Top 3 things that must occur first prior to any additional changes to health insurance.

    September 30, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. snood

    Hypocrites Both sides just want us to die but make sure we can vote for there side first. this is very diffrent then the You lie statement. Its OK though because he is a dem right?

    September 30, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  11. Carolyn Jones - Hawthorne, California

    Grayson is correct – no sorry to the GOP who has been baught by all the interest parties – INSURANCE Companies and the rest of them

    September 30, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. Paul Ernest Show

    It is unfortunately obvious that Republicans have been bought by big insurance and it does not surprise me if that is how they feel. The congressman is close to the truth. I have been thinking in that line for weeks now. The recent polls on who wants the reform shows a large number of Republicans want it. The problem is that those at the top of the party have accepted money and sold out Americans.

    September 30, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. Beverly - NYC

    Finally a Democrat with cajones!!!! The fake outrage by Republicans is totally hilarous. Just for one day I would like a Republican to wait in any emergency room in America and see how long it would take them to see a doctor, within ten minutes they would be pulling the don't you know who I am card. Seeing all the people in Texas who lined up to see Dr. Oz and his volunteers in a free clinic should tell anyone with a clue that the system is broken and needs to be fixed. All these folks with insurance from a state who's Gvernor wants to sucede it would be funny if it were not so sad.

    September 30, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  14. Big Steve

    The truth hurts and the Republicans game of fear and division will end when America learns the truth of how many of them die each year due to the Insurance Companies Pure Unaduterated Greed.

    Where are those family values on the Health Issue?

    September 30, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. Hypo

    Another hypocrite with a mouth.Come on pelosi do your job and demand action on his comments.

    September 30, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. work on it

    After the roadblocks the GOP and followers have boistrously put up I say Bravo Grayson! You had the floor–it was like someone else was speaking–like the President. You have no need to apologize to bullies.
    Thank you for standing up to them for all of us!

    September 30, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  17. Cindy

    Bravo, Mr. Grayson.

    Shame on the faux offense felt by the Republicans who would rather delay Healthcare reform than provide for Americans who are dying because they lack health insurance.

    Pass the Public Option... with or without the obstructionists. We cannot wait for them to come onboard. History has shown, they will "never" come onboard.

    September 30, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    What is the problem? Is it because he didn't call it a 'death panel'? DO NOT APOLOGIZE!! And thank you for having the cojones to give them a taste of their own medicine.

    September 30, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. JS

    Grayson's statements do not help the political climate, but he is correct. The scale of death from the status quo is terrible to consider. For those of you on the ultra-extreme right, who talk of "death panels", and "rationing", I must point out that we have avoidable deaths now, and we have rationing now. Lack of coverage, and purging by insurance companies, is rationing health care and directly causing people to die. Remember that girl who died a few years ago, because she needed a liver transplant, and the insurance company delayed, and by the time they finally decided to cover her transplant, she was already dead? Remember that? Ask her mother if the present system is or isn't killing people.

    September 30, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. gg

    Top 3 things that need to occur:
    1. Cross state line insurance ability for everyone to drive down prices. And maximum levels set for regular items charged by hospitals and supplies, the pricing would come down (have actually seen $9.00 for one set of plastic gloves) give me a break I can get them at Costco for 6:00 for 500)
    2. Open up perscription drug trade with Canada (you want to see how quickly our prices go down)
    3. Tort reform – If every frivolous law suit was settles by the losing party (both attorney -who should have known better and the loser who went for it) paid all court costs and fees for the other side that business would dry up.

    Then we can look at what can be done for the remaining that cannot afford heath care. #1 – go after all the waster and fraud already going on.

    September 30, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. Brian

    Grayson is right...I don't see the confusion here. Republicans have no plan for health care, and with the current state of health care, no plan is tantamount to asking people to die quickly if they get sick because right now there's no way in hell people can afford medical bills without insurance. And many people can't buy health insurance even if they can afford it because they got a headache once that qualifies as a "pre-existing condition."

    September 30, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. Sam Sixpack

    What a scam. He's up to his eyeballs in the scheme to rob $500 billion from your grandmother's Medicare. The Social Security Administration has already begun efforts to purge recipients who the SSA deems unable to adequately defend themselves. They're calling this “reducing inefficiency and fraud."

    What a liar.

    September 30, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. anderson n carolina

    Finally a Dem with the nerve to stand up and show these rethugs how ridiculous they sound! Keep up the good work.

    September 30, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  24. Liberal4Obama

    This is what Amercans need to be told... THE TRUTH. Republicans are in the pockets of the Insurance Companies. They get paid and you get to do the dying.

    September 30, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  25. Kirk

    Funny that Republicans are so upset over this. Maybe because it's the truth? Why should he apologize? Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.) didn't when she said, "Last week, Democrats released a health care bill which essentially said to America's seniors: drop dead." Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga) said the health care bill would kill people and so did Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) said that one in five women would die if we went to socialized medicine.

    These Republicans are a JOKE. First, they LIE, then they CRY.

    September 30, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
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