Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), a Jewish Democrat from Orlando, is under fire for describing the GOP position on health care reform as "Republicans want you to die quickly." Instead of apologizing on Wednesday, as his Republican colleagues had wanted, he ended drawing more fire from Jewish Republicans when he called the current health care system in the United States a "holocaust."
"I call upon the Democratic members of the House, I call upon the Republican members of the House, I call upon all of us to do our jobs for the sake of America, for the sake of those dying people and their families," said Grayson (video here.) "I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven’t voted sooner to end this holocaust in America," he said, referring to a Harvard study finding that more than 44,000 people die in the United States each year because they don’t have health insurance.
Florida House of Representatives Majority Leader Adam Hasner (R) said Grayson should apologize.
"Regardless of one’s position on the issue of healthcare reform, comparing the American healthcare system to the systematic murdering of over six million Jews is totally outrageous and unfit for someone holding public office," said Hasner in a statement. "Congressman Grayson should apologize to the Jewish community and the families of those whose loved ones were brutally executed. I’d also encourage Mr. Grayson to take a walk tomorrow afternoon to the U.S. Holocaust Museum so he can witness for himself just how offensive and inappropriate his statement is."
Republican Jewish Coalition executive director Matt Brooks also said the remarks were "outrageous."
"To link health care to the Holocaust is beyond the pale," he said,