September 1st, 2009
07:40 PM ET
5 years ago

GOP senator warns of 'minor revolution' over health care

Sen. Alexander warned Tuesday against Democratic attempts to overhaul the nation's health care system without support from congressional Republicans.
Sen. Alexander warned Tuesday against Democratic attempts to overhaul the nation's health care system without support from congressional Republicans.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A top Republican senator warned Tuesday that if Democrats try to overhaul health care without Republican support, "it will wreck our health care system and wreck the Democratic Party."

"The intensity on this issue across the country is like nothing I"ve seen in a long, long time," said Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate.

After a month of town halls back home, Alexander said it's clear to him and other Republicans that Americans are "scared to death" about the sweeping policy changes coming from Washington this year and the massive debt they are creating.

Alexander warned there would be "a minor revolution in this country" if Democrats try to "ram" a health care overhaul using a legislative tool called reconciliation, which would allow a bill to pass with 50 votes instead of 60.

Alexander also complained the White House has cut Republicans out of talks.

"Either they don't know how to operate in a bipartisan way or they don't want to operate in a bipartisan way," he said.

As to the ongoing talks among the bipartisan Gang of Six senators on the Finance Committee, Alexander said he is confident voter angst is resonating with the GOP members of the negotiations.

He also predicted the three Republican senators won't sign onto a deal unless "they think they have substantial support" for it from other Republican senators.


Filed under: Congress • Extra • Health care • Lamar Alexander • Popular Posts
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. GaryB

    I'mn usually a fan odf bi-partisanship, but I think the Dems would have to be stupid if they didn't take a lesson from the stimulus package. Obama bent over backwards to get Republicans involved in the process, but no amount of compromise was going to get the GOP to support the bill when there were political points to be scored. We all know that the GOP is going to try to kill any healthcare and insurance reform bill because A) It's an easy way to score political points with their base and with easily-frightened middle-of-the-road voters and B) The Republican party gets a lot of money from health insurance industry lobbyists.

    September 1, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  2. Tennessean

    Alexander is a liar. He says he has spent all this time having town hall meetings but there has not been a single one in my area. I did a websearch and he has had NONE. Liar and a fearmonger. Too bad he just got reelected.

    September 1, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  3. tyler

    How do we pay for a bill of this magnitude? Tax buisnesses until they leave for China or India, the national debt is already crushing our nation and the Dems just want to build it up. This is not the path way out nation should be going.

    September 1, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  4. Dilligaf

    A minor revolution? How about a MAJOR one in the 2010 elections?! If the Duhmocrats continue to push their liberal agenda, and are not stopped, you can start calling us the United Socialists of America. This is NOT what our Founding Fathers had envisioned for our country. To you fricking morons who voted for Odumbo, how's that hope and change workin' out for ya?!

    September 1, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  5. Reality Check

    If social security and medicare are working so fine, then you know what, let it be. However, there are some wonderful things about our health care system that shoud stay and there are some things that need to be fixed. Why not try just fixing the things that are broken and not overhaul the entire system at the expense of the next five generations. This is disgusting at how this is being rammed down people's throats. Just like the media rammed Oblahblablah at us. I am neither Demoncrat or Republican. I am AMERICAN ~ an American Citizen at that ~ and I am angry about the spending of this goverment!!!

    September 1, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. Nan

    Wait-didn't the Bush Administration "ram" the Iraqi war down our throats? I certainly was opposed, even on misinformation the administration fed us and the Congress.

    This guy should do a bit more thinking before posting.

    September 1, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  7. John M, NoHo

    Obama's been way to accommodating and patient with the Republicans... to a fault. Time to play rough.

    September 1, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  8. harold

    Then why oh why don't you republicans repeal the socialist medicare ..that you do not like also.. and put social security in to the stock market ?...Huh?..You are worried only for your frends in the profit industry part of health care that they will have to reduce the price of health care and their drugs.. tuff on them huh?.. 17% of our GNP goes to health care.in the USA.. other countries its only 8% of their GNP.. ...Explain that Senator.....

    September 1, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  9. Mike Allen

    The anger and intensity by the right wing dupes is the result of very slick propaganda by GOP mouthpieces Limbaugh and Hannity. These lies, histeria and scare tactics are exactly the same as the GOP used to get us into the disaster of Iraq. And all of these lies are funded by the crooked greedy corporate CEO's that pull the puppet strings of the Republican politicians and right wing media. If the American people wake up to the truth there will be a real revolution and the GOP will cease to exist.

    September 1, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  10. Scott, Tucson

    What I don't like about Obamacare is the governmental intrusion into our private finances and giving free health care to millins of illegals which it would do.

    September 1, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  11. CONNIE

    I have paid into Social Security and Medicare and so has the Companies i have worked for this past 50 yrs, and it belongs to me.
    now the illegals who come here haven't paid into but they get their fair share. I have a problem with that. All you whinniny butts who want something for nothing get the hell out of this country. America was built on hard work and helping each other but not help those who won't help themselves. So don't tell me i shouldn't take Social Security when it is my time. As far as National Healthcare-why would anyone want the government to run it since they have done such a good job with Social Security and Medicare which is about to go bankrupt. There are to many idiots living in this country and i want to know WHY?

    September 1, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  12. Tim Worley

    The revolution already happened dude. It resulted in kicking out an incompetent Republican president and reclaiming Congress for the Democrats. Who cares how much uproar the conservative right's Tea Bag "Patriots" cause in town hall meetings. The whole Republican party is just one big Jerry Springer show. Leaders??? Rush Limbaugh? Dick Cheney? Karl Rove? Sarah Palin? Bush I and II? Now there was a pair – the first a diplomat sharing American good will overseas by hurling in the lap of the Japanese premier, the second destroying our image, incapable of speaking in extended sentences – he of the smirky grin, and lying to chase oil in the Middle East and to restore his Daddy's besmirked reputation. Play amongst yourselves Republicans – preferably somewhere isolated like northern Idaho or Waco where civil folk can keep you contained.

    September 1, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  13. Concerned

    Come on Senator, give up your government run and tax payer insurance. I am quite sure you can pay for your own insurance but what about the little who cast their votes for you?

    Are the tax payers not important or are they just subjects for your monopoly?

    Any congressman or senator who is against a public insurance inclusion, should by law give up the free insurance they now receive. Had it not being a MUST; the President (perhaps) would gladly give up his as an example for the little people. I'd like someone to ask the president if he would willingly give up his current insurance and purchase a policy at the same rate as "we the people"

    September 1, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  14. Diane

    We all know the people screaming against health care reform have been sent out by the Health Insurance Companies. Very few Americans are actually against it. The media shows the screamers and tries to convince us those are Americans. We aren't buying it. We have to have health care reform!! Time to get rid of the remaining Republican Senators, thats the only way we will get reform.

    September 1, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  15. Dave

    Once again, a republican discovers the national debt as a problem. Have you forgotten Dick Cheney said that Ronald Reagan 'proved deficits don't matter'?

    September 1, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  16. Gene

    Why are we so afraid to convert healthcare from a profit machine to an actual benefit? Why do we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot so that every provider of health care (drug companies, insurance companies) can continue to gouge us?

    I'd rather give the money and control of health care to doctors.. but instead it's going to bureaucrats who's main interest is lining their own pockets.

    I think now I know where the universal "Stupid Americans" comment comes from when you travel the world.

    September 1, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  17. Ruty

    The Repubs are full of HOT air. Lets get this bill passed-now. I have no idea what the repubs are trying to do, but it sounds like Bull crap.

    September 1, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  18. Brad

    First...did a US congressman just threaten the American people with a revolution?? Second...health care "reform" without a public option isn't reform. It's the same stupid system!!!

    September 1, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  19. Bill in California

    THERE ARE NONE SO BLIND AS THOSE WHO WILL NOT SEE......The power that you were given has been SQUANDERED by your inept and arrogant EMPEROR. Yes, obviously people were ready for change, but NOT A WHOLESALE REVERSAL of what TRUE AMERICANS cherish.....FREEDOM from GOVERNMENT INTRUSION.

    September 1, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  20. Jay from Atlanta

    Come on America! Do not listen to the Republicans. Use your head. Why didn't they reform health care when they had control of the white house? They care only for themselves. Please democratic leaders, go it ALONE! Don't be afraid. Majority of this country want a health care reform and need one badly. Please do not be discourage. The republicans are only trying to scare the public. It only works with the people who haven't a clue about anything.

    September 1, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  21. Kurt

    I would agree with the senator if the anger was based on facts. However, the outrage has been generated by an amazing assortment of lies. Lies, intended to distort, confuse and cripple forward movement on the greatest crisis this country is currently facing. It's about is sinful, criminal as anything I've ever seen in politics. Just another year for the Republicans.

    September 1, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  22. Duck Fallas

    Bring it on. Indeed. I'm ready.

    September 1, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  23. Plus.....

    Obama is failing us by not preventing a delay in the swine flu vaccine which should have been available now but is not.....

    How can we trust him on national healthcare if he can't even deliver a flu vaccine on time?????

    September 1, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  24. Tony in Maine

    More likely if there is no meaningful health care reform and more and more families are priced out of access to health care.

    September 1, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  25. Jay from Atlanta

    The Democratic party will need to do this alone! Get this done immediately. America needs a Health Care Reform quickly. The Republican party don't have the answer. They never have and never will.

    September 1, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
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