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. Reagan was wrong

    Republicans seem to be convinced that they will sweep the 2010 elections. They believe this as strongly as they believe that Sarah Palin is smart, that Saddam Hussein was involved with 9/11, and that "death panels" will ration health care.

    Even if Obama fails catastrophically, there is no way in the world I would vote for a broken, malfunctioning joke of a party that is pro-torture and anti-healthcare.

    September 1, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  2. Jacqueline

    Ok Dems...what if it was the other way around? All Republican support and "No" Democrat support...how would you feel?

    September 1, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  3. donttreadonme

    The dem party had better get the liberal wing in check before they ship the entire ship.

    The next great Conservative revolution has already started. The Socialists will be defeated!

    September 1, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. Revolution? more like bowel movement.

    There is a deep need to bring health care to the RNC, it badly needs a flushin.

    September 1, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Lamar was Govenor of TN when we voted a public plan here. HE SCREWED EVERYTHING UP !!!!!! He is the LEAST to be listening too !!!

    September 1, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  6. Russ in limbo

    Then the Democratic party would be in the same shape as the republican party.

    September 1, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  7. welches, oregon

    Good grief – are ALL GOPs hypocrites?

    When Universal Health Care passes without Republican support, Americans will hail Dems and Obama, as Heros for generations to come and that's what scares the Holy Bible out of the GOP

    I'm so proud of my fellow Americans for seeing thru these plastic politicians.

    Hey Emmanuel GOldstein – we thought MANY of these southern GOP senators were well respected and accomplished, until their dirty laundry started airing. Now we see what their TRUE color is.
    Old White Christian Conversative America – and no one else matters.

    Better get on the correct side of History sonny.

    September 1, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  8. smokesignals

    Step up to the plate, President Obama. Time to get tough.
    Senator Alexander is talking treason here, acts of sedition.
    And when I last read the constitution, he is in deep trouble. Or should be.
    The Republicans are not interested in working with you.
    So, I say, let's get the job done without 'em!
    We know you tried and have been working for us in a civil manner, but it's not working and it's time to take the gloves off.
    We've got your back!

    September 1, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. cora - hot springs, ark

    Why is it that every time that a darn senator on the right is trying to give the tea partiers and the idiots out there with guns and the fake health care protesters a hint to start another protest they start out with it might be a minor revolution. ok Senator ALEXANDER we can see threw your stupid code. Maybe it" time for you to retire.

    September 1, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  10. stormerF

    why does Obama want the power to close the internet down? I thought Bush was the infringer on your rights,but now Obama wants to close the internet at his whim.

    September 1, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  11. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    What kind of minor revolution is this guy talking about? The only revolution that needs to take place is the one where the country revolts against all the Congresspeople for the health care they receive and don't want anyone else to have....You can't get an answer from any of them as to how much they pay, or don't pay for premiums can you? And since we are their bosses they should tell us how much of their health care we pay for!

    September 1, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. Frank, Las Vegas

    OK, I'm no attorney and I've never read the Medicare law, but..... we all know that Medicare works (ask any (97%) senior and they'll tell you that they love it), so why not just change the entrance age (currently 65) in the Medicare law, as an example, to one day old. There's your public option, it's already in place and operates very well. As far as hurting the Big Insurance companies, think of it this way, we have Public and Private Colleges and they both seem to get along and exist side by side just fine.

    September 1, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  13. Rumsfeld

    No, this effort will not destroy health care and it will not destroy the Democratic party. Rubbish!

    Oh and, look at the expressionless face of Senator Thune standing in this photo. Watch out for him as well! He'd like to think he is the GOP fresh-face. Ask his hometown people what they truly think of him...

    September 1, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  14. dave

    Prior to leaving a comment, people may need to study and learn the definition of the word "irony".

    September 1, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  15. victim of republican greed

    Do you realize if these right wing nuts and Rush Limbaugh were dogs, they would have been put down for having distemper?

    September 1, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  16. MD Republican 4 Health Care

    After reading the bill, I fully endorse it. It's 10 times better then what you have now.

    Is it perfect? No. Is it leaps and bounds better then what america has now? ABSOLUTELY!

    It would be nice, if us doctors could actually practice medicine rather then get 'approval' to save a life from some greedy health insurance exec.

    This is what it comes down to people. I, as a doctor, will more readily perform that treatment on you if I know I'm going to be able to go to the government to be paid rather then some genocide promoting health insurance company. The Health Insurance companies have hired a SLEW of attorney's to insure that they are able to murder you when ever it becomes 'unprofitable' to them.

    The facts are the facts. And the bill is needed. Pass it now and refine it later. If you wait for the republicans, you'll die in a hospital before anything ever gets done.

    September 1, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  17. Eugene

    "Wreck our health care system", hmmm.....this wonderful health care system which ranks 37th in the world and costs the most of any nation's. Hmmm. I think this fellow meant to say that reform would wreck the GOP's electoral possibilities for decades.

    September 1, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  18. Bill

    The Republicans had their chance to help alleviate the growing costs and increasing restrictions of health care insurance. If the Dems don't pass a bill we can all count on increased rates and tighter restrictions.

    Sadly, the GOP has resorted to a campaign of misinformation to fight reform and most of the angry people at town hall meetings are upset over things that aren't even in the bill.

    September 1, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  19. Ren from Baltimore

    Too any Repubicans showed their hand when they stated that the objective on health care reform was simply to stop Obama at all costs.
    They dis-invited themselves from the discussions, such as they were.

    Let's have people vote their conscience, not their re-electability and certainly not in the hopes of getting insurance industry donations for their campaigns like the Blue Dogs appear to be seeking.

    Whoever you are, if you lose your job or get a fatal illness, you will run through your coverage and will risk losing family's welfare for generations, paying off medical bills or having lost your income, home, savings.

    September 1, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  20. scooter

    Leave it aLONE THIS guy just screws up everything he touches and forces down our throught health care does have its problems but it is not just the cost of insurance. its the cost of care. and the long lines to get it.. were are all these docs going to come from? whrer are all these new hospitals going to come from. just think about it. oh I forgot money is falling from the sky. remember those that just think the rich should pay and that they hate the rich. who owns the company you work for, the homeles guy down the road?

    September 1, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  21. lorna

    WHY IS THIS NEWS – CNN – needs to report on issues that effect our lives – not Sarah Palin speaking engagements. Are you covering any other pass Governor speaking engagements.

    September 1, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  22. Walter Wilson

    I can see Joe The Plumber now as he strikes a regal pose on the bow whilst rowing the hudson on the good ship GOP.

    September 1, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  23. jules sand-perkins

    We need a major revolution against Obama's wild spending.
    I haven't felt this "Revolutionary" since I learned the Chopin etude.
    Anybody but Obama next time, please.

    September 1, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  24. Shelly

    I remember that a long time ago ( Nov 2008) a majority of American people voted for Democrats so they can get Health care reform with a public option.
    It is the minority right wing and blue dogs that have amnesia.....Can't believe they are fighting against something that is great for Americans and America!!! Are they delusional? Don't they remember Americans lost lives in a war that should have never happened and has cost a trillion dollars. And here is a program to save the lives of American men, women and children for many generations and all they can do is say "NO".

    September 1, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  25. stan

    This wouldnot wreck the Democrats,believe me it wont!!the minority vote is being completly forgotten for example,in order for the republicans to win the white-house in 2012 they is going to have to get 64% of the white vote,because if the minority vote be 29% which is very likely in obama gets 80% of that vote which is very very likley,it simply means the republican nominee is going to have to get 64% of the white vote to even squeak by obama,mccain beat obama by 13% of the white vote in still lost by almost 8%,the last republican to get over 60% of the white vote was ronald reagan in 1984,in he won every damm state,so now you see how its going to be very difficult for the gop to win the white-house again,and its going to get worser in worser because of the minority vote.

    September 1, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
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