Florida Congressman Alan Grayson, the new Al Franken-like star of the Democratic Party, claims that Republicans want people to die quickly. Grayson’s proof? Republicans oppose Democratic plans to restructure the U.S. health care system, including getting government further involved in health care decisions.
Grayson has been doubling and tripling down on his comments, like a child who gets attention by rolling on the floor kicking and screaming, and who soon figures out that kicking and screaming works. Overnight Grayson went from nobody anybody had ever heard of, to darling of the left-wing blog money-raising circuit. Only time will tell if Grayson gets 15 minutes or more of fame.
So what to make of the fact that compared to nationalized health systems, the U.S. has higher cancer survival rates? Even the not-so-non-partisan FactCheck.org had to admit this fact, although it tried to spin it so as to lessen the impact in the current health care debate:
It’s certainly the case that we have higher survival rates than the United Kingdom and other countries with nationalized health care. Across the board, the United States boasts a higher five-year relative survival rate than the European average, according to a 2008 study in the British medical journal Lancet. For breast cancer, for instance, the U.S. survival rate was 83.9 percent, the U.K. rate was 69.7, and the average European rate was 73.1.
So using Grayson’s logic, since Grayson wants to push us towards a British-style system, and under such a system cancer patients die at higher rates, Grayson must want to kill cancer patients.
Hoisting Grayson by his own hyperbole and fuzzy logic is so easy, it may become habit-forming.
(Psst, in case you were wondering, I don’t think Alan Grayson wants to kill cancer patients, but I would like him to stop accusing people with opposing viewpoints of being killers.)