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

GOP senator warns of 'minor revolution' over health care

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. t.s.

    So, what ideas are the Reps presenting to resolve this issue?

    September 1, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  2. Susie Que

    If healthcare legislation were left up to the G.O.P., only the
    elite would be able to afford it.
    I would think an intelligent approach would be a bipartisan effort toward solving the problems our great country is facing.
    The unintelligent and disrespectful method of critizing the current
    administration, and using scare tactics to sway public opinion, doesn't provide the solution to providing affordable medical care for all Americans.
    Shame on the Republicans for creating confusion and panic intentionally to mislead our senior citizens and the general public.

    September 1, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  3. RL Beardsley

    The furor in the country against reforming healthcare is undeniably a revolution fostered by their annointed leader, Rush Limbaugh, whose motto is, "Ratings first, country second."

    September 1, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  4. Suzanne

    The behavior of the Republican party has truly been horrendous. They have scared the elderly, lied to the ignorant and threatened the country and it's citizens. It has clearly been proven that if we don't address the healthcare situation now we will have a unmanageable financial burden in a few years. I am so shocked and ashamed that elected officials in a "free" country are willingly going out and lying and even more appalling is that it's OK to do that. What a low point in history.

    September 1, 2009 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  5. Willow

    Yeah Americans should be scared...scared of the loud- mouth, empty worded republicans whose only strategy is fear, not logic!

    Yeah Americans shoul be more than scared, they should be terrified of what is waiting for them just around the corner–when your premiums double from the outrageous cost you pay today–making health cre competely impossible for most Americans.

    Yeah Americans should be terrifed, terrified of those empty-headed people who call themselves republicans when in fact they are merely the 'poorly paid' puppets for health insurance industry.

    Be afraid Americans, of those thieves who call themselves republicans, for they are about to steal your opportunity for affordable health care–and then will steal your life and the life of your loved ones

    September 1, 2009 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  6. Brian

    It's rhetoric like this coming from the right-wing during the length of this health care "debate" that has me "scared to death". I do NOT approve of any United States Senator implicitly encouraging revolution. That kind of talk is EXTREMELY dangerous in almost any context, and certainly is in this one. You do not wave around steak in front of a rabid dog.

    September 1, 2009 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  7. ben

    Why is it that people like Lamar Alexander spend all this time criticising when it could best be spent rolling up his sleeves and getting to work in an effort to get something positive accomplished regarding our HEALTH CARE.
    If you're not part of the solution-then you must be part of the problem.

    September 1, 2009 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  8. Vyker


    The republican's were not in control for 8 years. If you have forgotten, Dem's won in 2006.

    Per health care, I do not want my tax dollars going for illegal aliens in this country. I also want tort reform like in Texas. For some reason....Democrats do not want a cap on trial lawyers.

    Please keep comments about both parties civil, we are all Americans.

    But a note to ponder...if this healthcare is sooo important and needed now....why is it not going to go into effect until 2012???

    September 1, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  9. rickymo

    Thats right...moree white people who could care less about children and people of color who are the ones that have no health care. Lets protect the industry that puts profits over people. Shame on all of these people who pretend to have morals and don't! This country is a mess...

    September 1, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  10. George in Pa.

    Insurence is based on the amount of people that have .Since the c-Clinton years they have been shipping jobs out of america by the millions.these jobs had health care that was paid for by the Company and thier employees. The problem was caused by the politicians and all Obama is doing is trying to cover thier collective hides.The only change Obama is your rights.

    September 1, 2009 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  11. Margaret

    You don't cram anything down anybody's throat in a democracy, or you're history.

    Go ahead, make my day. This should take care of our Socialist President and Congress for quite some time.

    September 1, 2009 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  12. Calvin

    We might as well go ahead and put a sickle and hammer on the flag. Thanks alot you jerks, you're leaving me trillions of dollars of debt and socialism. I'm going to pay for this till the day I day. The world the older generation is going to leave me will suck.

    September 1, 2009 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  13. Notdumb

    Hey democrats. You are one stepping stone away from dictatorship as soon as you get your full blown socialism. Enter someone like Hugo Chavez and you will be kissing his feet and saying yes dictator sir how can I please you?? We are Americans, not people that mop the floors for dicators. Dictators step in a socialist whole and take over. Americans fight for themselves, their own independence, not please government take care of me. You are all loosers.

    September 1, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  14. Ramon

    Republicans say no to Social Security, no to Medicare, no to minimum wage, no to Woman Rights, and now no to quality Health Care for all.

    September 1, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  15. Will, Florida

    The GOP does know revolution, it was called the 2008 election.

    September 1, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  16. Rumsfeld

    No more GOP Scare Tactics, repeat....
    I demand Choice, repeat...

    September 1, 2009 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  17. Economist

    We had a 'minor revolution'. It was in November. Look, Republicans, get with the program and start being useful, or *go away*. No one needs your votes.

    September 1, 2009 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  18. Ernie in LA

    Let "We the People" vote on Healthcare. The Dems can pass this by themselves. Why are they concerned about the party of No? Americans do not trust the Government and sure as hell do not trust Obama.

    September 1, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  19. Larry

    The republican is disgusting bunch of liars. They will say and do anything to promote their agenda. Twisting the truth is the biggest asset of republicans. Just ask Dick Cheney.
    Health care reform is needed. Republicans should support some form of compromise. I reallity they are the party of no. Just keep big drug companies rich. 30 to 40 million Americans have no health and republicans really do not care.

    September 1, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  20. JasonK

    Most of America wants health care reform, don't be fooled by what these Republicans that get their wallets lined by health care corporations are saying. Just ask your neighbor how much they pay in premiums and if they have gone down over the last 20 years. Or are they still waiting for these insurance companies to just bring the price down on their own. Get real!!! It's like banks getting rid of banking fees. Unless we get together as a nation and say enough, then it is not going to happen.

    September 1, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  21. CS

    Do you people not get it? The govt failed at Medicare (my taxes pay for this). The govt failed at Social Security (my taxes pay for this, too). What makes you think the govt can successfully run Healthcare?

    If they even want to take a shot at healthcare, they need to pull back and take a year or two to study it, not ram it through in BO's first six months in office.

    Haste makes waste.

    September 1, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  22. Bomar

    The GOP needs to be more afraid of themselves then anything else.

    September 1, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  23. Mike

    The Republicans panic about everything. Thank goodness they are not in charge. Those fools have done enough damage. I hope the idiot conservatives just sit back and let Obama fix the mess they created.

    September 1, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  24. IQ test for all voters

    One more republican BOUGHT AND PAID FOR!!!!

    Talking about fear, YOURE LIES ARE THE SOURCE of that fear! NOW youre trying to scare the rational, fact driven 'left' with your vague suggestion of "revolution"! That somehow there will be consequences if we dont go along with your corruption inspired bill!!

    September 1, 2009 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  25. whybs

    Barack, sock it to them!

    – Reform with a public option
    – Investigate Cheney/CIA (thugs are thugs & no one is above the law)
    – Mullah Omar and/or Osama bin's head (by 7/411; latest 9/11/11!)

    Right wingnuts, Barack wants to raise the taxes in his income bracket to help pay for our "truly compassionate/inclusive" health care reform - yes, unlike Joe the Plumber, Barack does make lots more than $250K/yr!!! Why whine when very few of you make that much? 🙁 Stop the fear "socialist" mongering! 🙂

    September 1, 2009 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
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