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. Ben

    There already was a minor revolution. It was the 2008 elections.

    As far as I'm concerned, Sen. Alexander can take his "minority" status and shove it.

    September 1, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  2. victim of republican greed

    We have republicans calling for secession, and now revolution. All this coming from states that get more money back from the federal goverment than their state sends in.

    September 1, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. vmarsha

    There will be an outrage if reform is passed and to lead the way I encourage all to join in the outrage. Just meet these simple qualifications and you're in, first you must be eligible for the blue plate at Denny's, secondly you need white hair, and third you have to be mad at how that whole election thing turned out.

    The last time there was outrage like this is when the government passed the Civil Rights act. Get the picture?

    September 1, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  4. MikeMc

    The Republican Answer: Do Nothing- because apparently the broken system that leaves millions without coverage is perfectly acceptable....We all spent the last 30 yrs or so with their economic model and it hardly gives them any credibility to speak for America as a whole

    September 1, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  5. Debbie

    Blah, blah, blah.... so tired of the GOP saying no or I'm against or whatever but have zero plans of their own until AFTER the Dems have given theirs. Then when they do FINALLY come up with a plan and it is not accepted they cry lack of bi-partisianship. It's just getting so so old.

    September 1, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  6. Joanna

    Oh Shut UP GOP!!! You all have cried wolf way too many times and the sky still hasn't fallen. I really don't care what your cry-baby opinion might be.......

    September 1, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  7. JR

    Minor, would that be in the form of "minor" relevance? The GOP has made themselves "minor" as to social issues, "minor" as to foreign policy and "minor" as to US political future. "Minor" does seem to me as the best description of neo-cons today, vocal(as in yelling & screaming) but minor in influence among the majority..

    September 1, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  8. The Lady

    The minor revolution in this country has nothing to do with health care, the Republican will vote against anything President Obama tries, they just can't get past the fact that they lost. The revolution started when Obama became President.

    September 1, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  9. Rogie D

    How far does President Obama have to go to give the disingenuous "party of no" a seat at the table?

    He's even angered his own supportors...

    Oh, Wait.That's it, right. I forgot. "Wedge issues."

    As usual, the GOP has no interest in helping anyone but those who control and maintain the status quo. You don'care about healthcare reform: you just want to get back in power.

    You're already worrying about what's going to happen to the Republicans if reform passes, and you and your cronies should be.

    September 1, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  10. gl, Pittsburgh

    Bring it on you WHITE OLD BOYS THAT JUST LOST YOUR TOY.

    September 1, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  11. Cato

    I sure wish they had been THIS "CAREFUL" over invading a sovereign country that had never harmed us!!! Or the so-called "Patriot" Act......caution would have really been helpful there. And if they had any good ideas to fix the health care system, they blew it when they held both houses of Congress and the White House for 6 years!

    September 1, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  12. Papasan in AZ

    Same old scare tactics from the very tired GOP. Just possibly we could get something new out of them, I won't hold my breath.
    BTW: just how do you WREAK a broken system to begin with, anything would be an improvement!

    Papasan in AZ

    September 1, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  13. Jeff M.

    The GOP was voted out of office across the board in 2008 for a reason. As for leaving republicans complaining about being left out of talks – after the way GWB ran this country, as if the other half of the country didn't exist for 8 years, too bad.

    September 1, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  14. Deb-Ohio

    If there is to be a revolution – bring it on! The GOP can absolutely blame themselves for scaring our seniors out of their skulls by spreading the vicious lies. Grassley and Ensi can't even tell the truth about the bill on the road. They have already said they won't participate in negotiation of the bills, so who needs them? Push it through! We can't afford not to!

    September 1, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  15. david dee

    Oh' IM so afraid of the big bad bag of hot air republican wolf

    September 1, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. AM

    This is why we voted in November and this is the change the country needs. America is ONE of the greatest countries but change is needed to carry us into the 21st century.

    September 1, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  17. thom from montana

    The south tore this country apart before over stupidy and greed. And ther, using this issue to do it again. The states that lie below the mason dixon line, recieve more federal funding(WELFARE, MEDICADE, MEDICAHARE, AND STIMULUS ) than any state in the north or the west.This area is lost educated, extremely unhealth( from obesicty , smoking) rates. But they fight every issue to help them.

    September 1, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  18. Gilbert

    why was there no "minor" revolution when the grand OLD party rammed Iraq down our throats? Easy to cause discontent when you are not in power isn't it? Get a life!!

    September 1, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  19. Jeff

    Has anyone actually read the Constitution? Anything that makes government bigger is UNCONSTITUTIONAL! I, for one, would like to see the government a whole lot smaller and abide by the Constitution instead of driving all over it with a semi-truck.

    September 1, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  20. ready

    Senator, you don't scare us. Boooo, moron.

    September 1, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  21. sam e. whigham

    If the Dumbocrats are stupid and arrogant enough to try and ram their health care biil thru on the American public, that clearly does not want any part of it, they will definately find out next year the true power of the American people!

    September 1, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  22. sgurdog

    Pass this bill any way you can and let those wall st republicans explain why they were not on the side of the little guys. Time and time again they block real change in America.

    September 1, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  23. Dale

    We had a minor revolution last November...

    September 1, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  24. Cystem Phailure

    ". . . it will wreck the Democratic Party."

    That comment is from an expert. The right-wingers don't know anything about economics, ethics, international relations, defense, health care, or much of anything else, but they most definitely know about wrecking political parties.

    September 1, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  25. Lola

    Republicans don't want any change at all as long as they are OK. THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT HELPING ANYONE WITHOUT HEALTHCARE OR WITH ANY OTHER ISSUES. THEY CARE ABOUT THEMSELVES AND NO ONE ELSE

    September 1, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
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