Rep. Grayson's 'Die Quickly' Comment Stirs Debate Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson became an overnight sensation two weeks ago when he said the Republican health care plan was "die quickly." And back in his home district Monday night, a town hall meeting on health care for his constituents drew partisans on both sides of the debate.

Rep. Grayson's 'Die Quickly' Comment Stirs Debate

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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Now, you may not know Florida Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson. But chances are you've heard some of his recent comments on the House floor.

R: If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: die quickly. That's right, the Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.

INSKEEP: With those comments a couple of weeks ago, Mr. Grayson, a first-term congressman from central Florida became a hero in some Democratic circles and a figure of scorn for Republicans. Last night, he was back in his home district for a town meeting on health care. NPR's Greg Allen was there and filed this report from Tavares, Florida.

GREG ALLEN: Tavares is a lakeside community north of Orlando, usually quiet, but enlivened quite a bit last night by Grayson's visit.

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ALLEN: Outside the Tavares Civic Center - actually just a room attached to the local library - there were lots of signs and people for and against Alan Grayson. Some of the Grayson naysayers identified themselves as Tea Party Patriots, opposed to any government intervention in the health care system.

INSKEEP: Morningstar was a registered Democrat until 2008, when she changed her party registration to Republican.]

M: He made that statement about the Republicans because he wanted the publicity. There's a lot of people that does not watch C-SPAN, so he hit all the news. And for the people does not know what had been happening, they're going to believe him, and it's a lie.

ALLEN: Smith said she was there because she believes it's important to have government involved in health care. She has been sick a lot lately and has had to depend on her family to help pay thousands of dollars of hospital bills - her co-pay under Medicare. I asked her what she thought of Grayson's comments.

M: I'll be honest, I feel that he was telling the truth. Because in my case, I would have been dead. If I had not had my daughter to live with, I would have been dead.

ALLEN: It was an invitation-only crowd, open only to his constituents, but there were many who were skeptical - both of Grayson and Democratic plans to rewrite health care. People, like Rick Elwood.

M: It's a little bit insulting to hear you say, constantly, that the Republicans aren't offering anything up. They are.

R: Listen, it's not about - I will say this vehemently - it is not about people's feelings, it's about saving lives. Okay. You can say you're insulted or anything else, but in the end, I'm going to vote for the thing that saves people's lives and saves people's money.

ALLEN: Greg Allen, NPR News, Tavares, Florida.

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INSKEEP: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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