Rough Rhetoric Pervades Health Care Debate In The House
Democrats and Republicans in the House continue to assail each other as the debate on health care proposals progresses.
"Even as Republicans pummel President Barack Obama's health care proposals, some GOP leaders worry their party is being hurt by a Democratic counterattack: Where is your plan?" The Associated Press reports. "Republican leaders chose not to draft their own comprehensive bill, focusing instead on attacking Democrats' plans as too costly and bureaucratic. Some prominent Republicans now fear they are getting tagged as the 'party of no,' and they want the GOP to offer more solutions to the nation's health care problems." Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., recommends that Republicans offer their own proposals in addition to opposing Democratic ones. "Democrats, meanwhile, see a rare chance to go on the offensive in the debate, which has sometimes seemed dominated by fiery attacks on Obama's proposals."
"A new CBS-New York Times poll found that only 14 percent of Americans think Republicans have clearly explained their plans to change the health care system." In the House, Republican leaders have put together "lists of bills and principles that various colleagues have offered this year. But even the whole list combined doesn't match the breadth and detail of the massive Democratic-crafted health care bills that have moved through five congressional committees and may soon reach the House and Senate floors in some form" (Babington, 10/2).
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to play down the remarks of Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., who said Republicans want sick Americans to "die quickly."
Pelosi "says anyone using harsh rhetoric to raise fears about health care reform should apologize and get on with writing policy, but said there's no reason to single out" Grayson, the AP reports in a separate article. "If anybody's going to apologize, everybody should apologize," she said Thursday. "Pelosi's response reflects what Democratic aides have said privately since Grayson's remarks sparked an uproar: that Republicans have routinely said with impunity that Democrats want to 'pull the plug on grandma' or create 'death panels' to decide who deserves care and who doesn't." But "Republicans said they would continue withholding a resolution putting the House on record as disapproving of Grayson's remarks in hopes that Grayson will apologize" (Evans, 10/1).
The New York Times: "House Republicans announced that no resolution admonishing Mr. Grayson would be introduced on Thursday. At his weekly news conference, the House Republican leader, John Boehner, said, 'I think it's time for Democrat leaders and the Speaker of the House herself to rein in some of the rhetoric that she decried just several weeks ago. And if he's not going to apologize to the American people and to Republicans as he should, really, the Democrat leadership's responsibility to have a conversation with her own member'" (Becker, 10/1).