On Wednesday, Congressman Alan Grayson (D Fla.) took the floor in Congress to read the death toll of those who lacked health insurance in the districts of Republican Representatives. Is it really asking too much of us that we keep people alive? he asked. Of course, the Republicans tried to cut him off and asked the clerk to take down his words. But Congressman Grayson did not waiver. When the session reconvened, he continued to read the list.
Grayson is somewhat unique in Washington political circles. For one thing, he is a Democrat with a spine. For another, he seems to tell the truth no matter how embarrassing or discomforting the truth is. For example, he famously (and correctly) summarized the Republican health care plan by saying The Republican health care plan is this: Dont get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.
Grayson is one of the few Representatives who have embraced and discussed the real tragedy of our broken health care system that approximately 45,000 people die each year because they do not have or cannot afford access to health care. Thats like having 15 9/11s each year! Yet rather than try to fix the system, Republicans are doing everything in their power to kill health reform. Senator Jim DeMint publicly stated If we can stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. More recently, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann called for protestors to scare lawmakers into killing health care reform. She may as well be calling for them to kill the uninsured.
If Republicans are successful, they will be responsible for another 45,000 deaths next year and each year until we have universal health care coverage for American citizens.