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. Hawaii gal

    More scare tactics from the GOP, what else is new? It would be nice to have a bi-partisan, rational debate or even a conversation about health care reform, but it is obvious that the GOP does not want to listen to ANY ideas from the Democrats or to make ANY changes to a broken system. It is also obvious that all they want to do is try to block any reform or great ideas coming from our new administration. Well I guess we will just have to pass health care reform without any input from the GOP. Sadly, the party of NO is alive and well.

    September 1, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  2. Suzan

    If Obama gets this health care reform passed it will just be another feather in his hat and the GOP doesn't want that so they are going to railroad it any way they can.......and that is using FEAR and SCARE tactics........what a shame that the Republicans can't work together to try to get something passed so that the people without can have health care just like they have.......What Would Jesue Do..........didn't he work with the poor (not the rich or the ones that had a comfortable life)
    we will all answer to a higher power and that is more important than answering to the people that voted them in.......sometimes you have to do things that aren't popular with all the people......

    September 1, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  3. rhiana

    8/19/2009 Congressmen John D. Dingell (D-MI15) and Sander Levin (D-MI12) have questions for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan President and CEO Daniel J. Loepp about a series of rate hikes the company announced late last week. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan plans to hike monthly premiums for 163,000 Michigan citizens who buy the insurer's nongroup or group conversion plans on average by 22 percent. Blue Cross will also increase supplemental Medicare policies, known as Medigap, held by about 210,000 Michigan seniors by an average of 4.7 percent. Blue Cross had requested an average 56 percent hike for its nongroup plans and 41 percent for its group conversion policies.

    public option please.

    September 1, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  4. Jose

    . . . Like the not so minor revolution against the republicans in the last
    election?

    September 1, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  5. Hotdog

    What was the Republicans response when the Democrats complained that they were cut out of talks on various issues during the Bush Administration?

    September 1, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  6. Joseph, Los Angeles California

    Health Care Reform will NOT wreck the Democratic Party; it will wreck the Republican party more because it will work. The Democratics just have to find a spine and get it done without them. The republicans have not intentions on giving the American People anything, unless we become multi million dollar contributors to their uncaring cause.

    People of America, stop being scared, there is nothing to be scared about.

    September 1, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  7. Brian

    Yeah because if the Republicans don't like it, then it's guaranteed to ruin the country. You people are idiots and I'd be happy if the Republican Party collapsed. You have nothing to offer society but pessimism, hatred and greed.

    September 1, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  8. Lucy, MO

    Go to it Dems, ignore the heck out of the GOPers who never really cared about healthcare in the first place. Name one thing they did while they were in control of both houses and the White House for 8 long years. (birds chirping) That's right- NOTHING.

    So if the Dems have to steam roll over them, so be it.

    September 1, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  9. Willy Brown

    When Obama gets voted out in 2012 will that be Bush's fault too?

    September 1, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. Peoples Voice

    We will get a public option even if we have to cram it down your stupid throats. You want a civil war? BRING IT ON.

    September 1, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  11. george from alaska

    his comments are about as relevant as the pics cnn always puts up of palin with her mouth wide open ready to cram in a big one!

    September 1, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  12. Joseph

    Oh, so we can keep paying more for healthcare and that expense is OK....this guy(R) is talking about how people dont really want this bla bla, blurring lines between healthcare and debts but has he spoken to the Americans who want healthcare reform?? Nope...he is living in his own little private idaho of hatred and lunacy.

    The only minor revolution that will occur is if Obama and congress do NOT do what was promised when we voted for them.

    September 1, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  13. Robert

    The Democrats should take full advantage of the golden opportunity to enact healthcare reform for the long-term good of the country without the Republicans. Let the Repubs carry on whining, yelling, threatening, complaining, and lying - that's all they know how to do.

    September 1, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  14. anthony

    There was already a minor revolution in America. It was called the 2008 elections. If the Democrats succeed in passing health care reform that will actually rein in the insurance companies and provide affordable health care to all, in spite of relentless opposition from the Republicans, then there will be a major revolution in America. It is called the extinction of the Republican Party.

    September 1, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. randy

    I know it is hard for democrats with there hand out for us taxpayors to take care of you to understand. I know you are mostly union workers and teachers so not the sharpest tools in the shed. Medicare, aid and SSI is bankrupt! How hard is that for you to understand. The problem with socialism is you run out of other peoples money to spend.

    September 1, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. Peter

    At least he isn';t stupid enough to say "Its just the average daily protest" NOT REALLY

    September 1, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  17. Don in Albuquerque

    A small revolution engineered and fueled by the GOP. In the past voted for whoever I thought was best for the job. After the spoiled brat foot stamping, outright lying, and criminal activity iT WOULD BE A COLD DAY IN HELL, before I ever voted for a Repug again. And if there is no public option will not vote for any incumbent Democrat, they all need to go including the Prez.

    September 1, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  18. bcox

    It is time for the Democrats to just do it, ignoring these just say no Republicans. Lead the way, you were put in power to do it, so go out and finish the job.

    September 1, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  19. Chandler

    It is hard to take the outrage seriously when the people who are scared of health care reform are basing it all on lies told to them by the GOP.

    Reform would help people with insurance so much, because it wouldn't allow their coverage to be rescinded, it would end life time caps, and wouldn't allow insurance companies to deny care to people who desperately need it.

    September 1, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  20. KASSANDRA

    If we don't get a major change in health care passed- there will be a MAJOR REVOLUTION IN THIS COUNTRY
    All these smug Senators won't be so happy when they realize 70-80% of the country are against them

    September 1, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  21. Joanna in PA

    I really hope the GOP stops there war baiting and trying to get our president killed with all the FLAT OUT LIES AND HATRED!! The GOP is paid by the health industries, do not be fooled people. We need our health care fixed. We pay the most die the youngest and get the least. This is not about lazy people that want something for nothing. It is about people that have insurance, than find out the companies doesn't want to pay or is dropped when they get sick or loss there job. ENOUGH with the insanity!! I hope an adult in there party stands up and calls all this to stop. Not only with regards to health care but in gerenal. No revolution or killing speak anymore. Be an American.GROW UP!!

    September 1, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  22. Ryan, Council Bluffs

    I was working the Republican booth at the Iowa State Fair. Forget a minor revolution, its bigger than that. Union members and teachers were lining up to sign our petitions against health care reform and gun control. The most common comment "They are out of control", and the they was both Democrats and the Union heads who are forcing the agenda down on local members. And here I always thought it worked the opposite way with the Union employees carrying the issues from local members,

    September 1, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  23. Stu

    Government "success" stories...

    Social Security
    VA Medical Care
    Medicare/Medicaid
    Taxes

    Yep, good idea to socialize the rest of healthcare too. It would be really nice if the government would stop forcing us to give up our hard earned money just to give it away to a growing welfare state. We can give to charity if we choose to do so. There are other, viable ways to reform healthcare and get the situation under control.

    September 1, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  24. KASSANDRA

    If we don't get a major change in health care passed- there will be a MAJOR REVOLUTION IN THIS COUNTRY
    All these smug Senators won't be so happy when they realize 70-80% of the country are against them

    saying no to what the American people want is not a discussion- if the replugs have some ideas
    "Bring them on"
    untill they do we will just keep treating them like the children they are acting like

    September 1, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  25. ajax

    More scare tactics from the pro-Insurance lobby, anti-American people Republican party. There may well be a revolution coming, but the tide is heading towards swamping the GOP and not the other way around.

    September 1, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
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