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October 1st, 2009
06:43 AM ET

Democrat stands by 'die quickly' remark

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Freshman U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson refused to back down Wednesday from remarks made on the House floor the night before, in which he said the Republican health care plan calls for sick people to "die quickly."

Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Florida, made the ''die quickly'' remark on the House floor Tuesday night.

Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Florida, made the ''die quickly'' remark on the House floor Tuesday night.

In fact, Grayson, a Democrat who represents a central Florida swing district that includes Orlando, made another floor speech in which he apologized to the dead and their families for not acting sooner on health care reform. He then defended both speeches on CNN's "The Situation Room."

"What I mean is they have got no plan," Grayson told Wolf Blitzer. "It's been 24 hours since I said that. Where is the Republican plan? We're all waiting to see something that will take care of the pre-existing conditions, to take care of the 40 million Americans who have no coverage at all.

"That's what I meant when I said that the Republican plan is don't get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly."

Watch Grayson defend comments Video

Republicans pounced on Grayson's late-night speech and demanded an apology.

Watch Grayson's "die quickly" remark on House floor Video

Read the full story »

Filed under: Controversy • Politics
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Eddie

    About the cross in the desert, hmmm should we take it down? Seems to me this is a poor attempt at attention on this persons part. Maybe we should ask this person this question. Out of all the crosses and all the stars of david on federal land in Arlington National Cemetary should we take those down? Seperation of church and state I think its more or less Seperation from the Union. Granted if he went about this in the manor of "Oh well its an eye sore in the park" Maybe maybe i could see eye to eye, but distorting the law to apply it as seen fit is just disturbing. ITS A SYMBOL and it means alot to some people what it represents. You know SYMBOLS something this country has alot of. Two I bars in the form of a cross at ground zero the American bald Eagle the white house capitol building or even Air Force one. As for the cross and this person wanting it taken down and fileing legal action against it.......... Why dont you try and fix unemployment or health care something important! I guess im just wrong though all the problems this country faces we should worry about the lil lonenly cross in the desert! Whats next telling public officials OH HEY WAIT now were gonna check and make sure you guys arnt wearing cruciafixs or stars of david! Were gonna have check points at the door to make sure your not! CODE Orange hes got a cross! Come on give me a break. Like i said we got more important things to deal with! I say if it comes down we take it and put it in this guys front yard, yeah thats a great idea.

    October 5, 2009 at 7:57 am |
  2. sam r

    Rep. Grayson said it like it is and he has my 1000%. I have been a life long republican, but never again will I vote for those cold hearted people. Also I have best healthcare insurance anyone would ever want, so I am not writing about myself. The two highest Republicans in the House, Boehner of Ohio, and the short guy, Eric Cantor, from VA under Boehner, made some stupid comments recently. Boehner said he had never met a single person who wanted the Public option, and I say to that get out from under your bed covers, and walk down the streets of any city in Ohio, and ask some of your constituents what they think. Mr. Boehner, who are the circle of people that you are in, besides Cantor. Cantor said to a woman who had no healthcare insurance, and found lumps in her abdomen to look for charitable hospitals who would help her, but she was black and a democrat, why would he care. The Republicans Senators and Representatives do have the Federal Govt. provided insurance, so they dont have to worry about those Americans who dont have it, so let them die. This brings me back to Rep. Grayson of Florida, who in my opinion told it like it is. Republicans rather see the sick people die than give them a fighting chance to live with the Public option. Cold hearted people, each and everyone of them in the House of Representatives and especially in the Senate. What is even worse are those Democrats, like Senator Bocus and the Senator from Montana, who are also taking the health companies big bucks who are intending to screw the American public in avoiding a Public option. I can go for ever on this. But I am on my to France where there is some sense of decency in the Govt. for their people.

    October 2, 2009 at 6:56 am |
  3. Bob

    Finally someone who is "of the People, for the People, and by the People!!!" Unlike Baucus and the others who are "bought by the Lobbyists, used by the Lobbyists, and will become a Lobbyist"

    The people want a "Public Option," but do not let that out of commitee because the Lobbyistsare against it. Who is working for whom?

    Baucus - $4million from Lobbyists. That could pay for a lot of the un- insured. BTW Those $ came from healthcare premiums and drug research funds. Baucus used the $4million for the good of the people?

    October 2, 2009 at 6:55 am |
  4. jay m

    Finally a Democrat with some backbone, unlike the cowardly speaking Blue Dogs. Private insurance greed is killing thousands of people each year.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  5. George

    Here's a guy who believes like I do. Fight fire with fire. How many more Grayson's can we elect to stand up and be counted? Let's find them and get them in. Kudos, Mr Grayson.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  6. Dorothy Kincaid

    Thank my God for this – finally someone to STAND. I am not a member of Democratic Party any longer, but A great THANK YOU Democratic members (I will write each of them) for standing by the TRUTH.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  7. Dan

    Try going to the V.A. to get any medical, if your in pain, they give you aspirin an tell you to buck up and take the pain, we dont want you to get hooked on meds. If you need srugery they have no money.If you need scooters lifts ramps ect, they tell you nope, we are saving this equiptment for tripple amputee, Quadriplegia,which is fine, but spinal cord injourys need this equiptment to.Why do we vets need to travel so far to see a doctor,Every time i need a doctor i travel 3 to 4 hrs, there is no reason for this. this is followed with a slap in the face with no follow up and the same run around. and nothing is ever done. I feel like i am a prisoner in my house, The News Media is quick with the thank you,but slow on reporting this, they are to much into entertainment anymore i guess, there slap hurts just as much as the slap from the V.A I wounder why the suicide rate is so high for Veterans? Could it be because we have no one to turn to??? Where is the justice in this. Jim Acosta, Jason Carroll, Alina Cho, Sanjay Gupta, Christine Romans. Just to name a few and not to single out any 1 person but all News Media. Where is the Justice when the V.A. is to cheep sterlize surgery equiptment and Veterans get aids ect. Oklahoma City Veterans Medical Center. Is this not enough entertainment for the News Media to report on. How many more vets need to die,Before we get the proper MEDICAL!!!! And equiptment we need to lead a safe and normal life.

    October 1, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  8. Kevin

    Thank you Alan Grayson for having a pair and standing up for us. Apparently the rest of the Democrats have no backbone whatsoever. I cringe at how some of them are rolling over and giving in to the Republican bullying. Secret Republicans maybe?

    Good god man, we own the House and Senate for pete's sake. Why are we giving in to a party that is out of power and full of lies?? How do they deal such severe blows to health care reform as to remove the public option and remove the employer requirement but get absolutely ridiculous garbage like money for abstinence approved !!?? How??

    October 1, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  9. Richard

    Mitchell, show me a Republican plan... show me a link to a Republican plan... how do you get any socialism out of any plan being proposed... if you don't like gov. health care give you Medicare and medicaide to someone who needs it.... as far as bankrupting the country, Bush did that and Obama has done a great job of stabelizing the economy in an impossible situation... if you don't understand healthcare IS bankrupting this country from greedy insurance companies the you need to research FACTS... our healthcare in this country is NOT the best in the world and all those GOP lies about other countries who have government healthcare DO ACTUALLY have better healthcare... study, research, don't listen to Rush...

    October 1, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  10. Kathy A. Conrad

    Sadly, when those I loved ... father, mother and two sisters ... got sick ... they did not die fast. It was long, drawn out and costly.

    I log onto CNN every morning to read the latest on healthcare reform. Today as I scanned the "Hot Topics" line Healthcare was not there.


    Come on CNN ... Healthcare is still a hot topic!

    October 1, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  11. Mitchell

    The Republicans do have a health care plan, and a good one but the so called main stream media will not cover it. They seem to favor one (along with everything else the party in power wants to do) that will help lead us to a bankrupt and socolist country. Why not take the time to do this thing right? I suspose we must have it NOW and not wait because the longer we wait the more details come out and the more the majority of americans are against the plan. I voted for Obama and I wanted change but his change is not what he promised and it now scares me on so many levels.

    October 1, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  12. Marcus

    I did not think he said anything wrong. I like that someone finally showed some disgust at this problem. We need to have some kind of real health care reform. The Bacchus bill sucks, and it is not going to help people. It is going to keep health insurance companies rich. His bill is basically saying give the insurance companies more money to do the right thing. That is crazy.

    October 1, 2009 at 8:51 am |
  13. Alicia

    I admire this gentleman. He did it in the proper arena, unlike the racist Joe 'You Lie' Wilson.

    Considering all the Republicans tell their constituents to do when a medical issue is facing them is to go get charity.......what is that about?

    The Republicans are literally saying about the sick and uninsured "Let them eat cake!!!"

    October 1, 2009 at 8:50 am |
  14. Mike Armstrong TX.

    All this health care debate has gone to far with to much finger pointing and name calling its time for congress to unite and pass a law or else just leave it alone.

    October 1, 2009 at 8:49 am |
  15. Bob in Florida

    As a Democrat, I find this disgusting. Perhaps we need a National Campaign to NOT reelect any incumbent Congress members, regardless of party, for the next couple of elections. Further, to set term limits in the House and Senate to not exceed 12 yrs. We would wind up with a large number of inexperienced representatives who have not yet been corrupted by greed and narcissism so prevalent now. We actually may wind up with people who run for office because they genuinely want to do what's best for America. Actually, I was watching PBS the other day, when they had 4 freshman members of Congess discussing the Health Care issue. Two Repubs and two Dems, it seemed very clear to me that those four would be able to quickly come to agreement on a plan that would accomplish much of what we need. None of these people had yet been corrupted by the power of office. Hmmmm!

    October 1, 2009 at 8:22 am |
  16. eliz wolfgang

    At last...Someone speaking from the hip. and not ashamed to do so. Reid can learn something from this. Atleast he (Grayson) has a backbone. Like I said before, "either fish or cut bait".

    Hatch..stop your whining. You have "supposedly" been "working" on health care reform for some time. What's the problem? Maybe you have been "perpetrating" or is the word "procrastinating". Whatever....Atleast some people are trying to make it right and not lining their pockets on the backs of the people that need the care and on the dead....

    Bottom line: This is not about IDEOLOGY; this is about people's lives.

    October 1, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  17. Pauly

    Rep Grayson was stating a fact, unlike Rep Wilson. the Repubs, and some Dems are protecting insurance co's that do have the philosophy that you shouldn't get sick & if you do, you should die quickly.
    People are denied benefits when they get sick and/or denied treatments that could save their lives. Many die while appealing the decision to deny benefits they have paid for! these same co's are spending over a million dollars a day to protect their profits. How many Americans will pay w/ suffering and/or death for their lobbying efforts to stop health care reform?

    October 1, 2009 at 8:10 am |
  18. A Canadian Perspective

    Kudos to Mr. Grayson. Finally someone taking on the lies of the Republicans.

    Also, I'd like to respond to Senator's Coker's remarks about Canada and France being "parasites" on the U.S., with regard to health care and R & D. He suggests that we are coasting on U.S. accomplishments in that area and thereby costing the U.S. money.

    Mr. Coker: Canada has long been in the forefront of medical discovery and innovation since way before Canadian Frederick Banting discovered insulin. How many Americans did that save?

    There is a long list of Canadian accomplishment since then (I will post them if asked – but it is soooo long). Canadians also plotted the first physical map of the human genome as well.

    Every major Canadian university has a busy, well renowned Medical Research facility.

    Our pharmaceutical companies continue to develop major drug and treatment breakthroughs.

    And, yes... we do have universal health care, we love it and it works well thank you very much!

    We have long looked to our American neighbors as friends and partners and will continue to do so, in spite of Mr. Coker's uninformed assessment. of our abilities.

    Barbara... from Ontario Canada

    October 1, 2009 at 7:53 am |
  19. Bernadette Loesch

    Thank you Rep. Grayson for your honest appraisal of what the Republicans in Congress are trying to do to Pres. Obama's Health Care Plan. You are my hero! Keep up the good work. Please continue to press for the Public Option. It is a crucial part of the Health Plan.

    October 1, 2009 at 7:43 am |
  20. Richard

    If people looked at all the Republican remarks in congress they will see far worst made by them than this congressman... and his expaination last night on CNN was right on....

    October 1, 2009 at 7:41 am |
  21. Steven

    Finally, a Democrat with backbone !!!! And to see the republicans running around screaming for an apology is absolutely hilarious !!!!! After the last 10 weeks of lies, bigotry, and hate from the right wing lie machine and its mindless, stupid followers it is refreshing to finally hear a Democrat call it like it is. If there is an apology owed to the American people it is owed by the republicans. It is their philosophy and policies that have brought the present economic crisis on and done serious damage to our standing in the world. Apology indeed, like my pappy used to say .... " If you can't take it,.... don't dish it out ". Hear that Palin, Wilson, birthers, deathers, astroturfers et al.......

    October 1, 2009 at 7:34 am |