Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Wednesday said that he doesn't think seniors will die sooner because of Medicare cuts in the Senate healthcare bill, rebutting a fellow Republican senator's claim.
Grassley, who is an opponent of the bill, said that Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-Okla.) charge made Tuesday is inaccurate but said it was within his right to make the statement.
Grassley said that Democrats have claimed that 14,000 people per day lose their health insurance, which he called "ridiculous."
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) has become the scourge of Republicans for making such claims. Grayson also said that the Republicans' healthcare plan was for seniors to "die quickly" during House debate in September.
Speaking on the Senate floor during formal debate on Tuesday, Coburn said to seniors about the cuts, "I have a message for you -- you're gonna die sooner."
Some Democrats pushed back against the claim on Tuesday.
"I’d like to once and for all lay to rest this false claim that the pending bill is going to ‘hurt seniors’ and it is going to hurt providers and it’s going to be this long parade of horribles that the other side likes to mention," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said.
“It is totally, patently untrue, the claims that they are making,” he added.
"There are some statements that are extreme that are being made, and it’s probably part of the environment,” Grassley said of the remarks. “It was pretty high-caliber debate as far as I’m concerned. There’s just extensive debate on this all the time.”
But Grassley said Coburn's comments were "pretty insignificant" in the overall debate.