Grayson on ‘die quickly’ quip: ‘I apologize to the dead’
US House Rep. Tom Price, the Georgia Republican who introduced a motion to condemn Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson for saying that the Republican health care plan amounts to hoping that the sick “die quickly,” said he would withdraw the motion to give Rep. Grayson (D-FL) a chance to apologize.
Well, Grayson has apologized — just not to the Republicans he offended.
“I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven’t voted sooner to end this holocaust in America,” a defiant Grayson said on the House floor Wednesday.
The “holocaust” Grayson was referring to was the 44,000 Americans that a recent study says die each year because of inadequate access to health care. The representative cited the Harvard study (PDF) in what appeared at first to be an apology, but quickly turned into a retort.
The number of dead “is 10 times more than the number of Americans who have died in Iraq and who died in 9/11,” Grayson said. “But that was just once. This is every single year. That’s right. Every single year.”
On the House floor Tuesday night, Grayson caused a stir among opponents of health care reform when he said the Republican model for health care is “a very simple plan. Don’t get sick. That’s what the Republicans have in mind. And if you get sick in America, the Republican health care plan is this: die quickly.”
House Republicans quickly issued demands for an apology, and on Wednesday Rep. Price tabled his motion to condemn the comment.
But, as some commentators have pointed out, that move — had it not been withdrawn — could have opened House Republicans to accusations of hypocrisy, as 166 of them voted against the motion to censure Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) over his exclamation of “You lie!” during the president’s address to Congress.
The following video was posted by Politico on Sept. 30. 2009.