House Republicans have called upon Congressman Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) to apologize for this characterization of their health plan on the House floor last night:
Sure enough, under threat of reprimand, Grayson returned to the House floor tonight. But I’m thinking this is not exactly what his critics had in mind:
UPDATE: While most of the cable chatter today is probably going to be about Grayson’s use of the word “holocaust,” what about the fairness of Grayson’s original contention that the GOP “plan” is “Die Quickly”? I attempted to answer that in our comments section, but thought it was worth adding to the original post as well:
The papers [that Reublicans were holding during the President’s speech] do not appear to have been blank, as evidenced by these photos, but I was not in the Chamber that night and don’t know what was on them.
There have been a few proposals advanced by individual Republicans, including this one that I wrote about in May.
And of course, they have offered hundreds of amendments in the five different committees that have undertaken to write health care legislation. But I think it is fair to say that their overall approach–at least recently, after I wrote that initial story–has been to say no. The lone exception is Olympia Snowe, who (as I wrote last week) has been involved in heavy negotiations that have made her influential in shaping the Senate Finance Committee bill. You can see what she has done here.
Republicans have talked frequently about tort reform and the need to make it possible to buy insurance across state lines. And they say they are in favor of things like: setting up new markets for purchasing health insurance, leveling the playing field so that small businesses and those who purchase on the individual market get the same kind of deal that big corporations do, and getting rid of exclusions for pre-existing conditions. (Interesting, as they say that, they rarely mention that all these latter features are in the major Democratic bills.) So perhaps a more precise description of the overall GOP approach at the moment would be: Stop the Democrats. Which in practice can also be read as: Do Nothing.
UPDATE2: Dana Milbank on some of those Republican amendments.