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. Bryan

    LOL, LOL, "just like it's working for medicare," that is too funny. Where were we? Oh yes, government run health care working. You mean like it's working in oh, let' see; Canada and England?

    September 1, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    In the year 2000, my insurance premium was $100 per month for a family of 5. Today, I am paying a skyrocketing amount of $500 per month for the same coverage. That is, with my employer subsidizing about $500. Otherwise, I would be paying $1000 per month. The resultant effect is that after my premium is deducted from my paycheck, I'm left with little take home pay to barely survive. The insurance companies are pocketing huge profits and payouts to special interest. A public option is definitely needed to lower cost. The GOP are afraid of public option because it will reduce their kick backs from Insurance companies.

    September 1, 2009 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  3. CP

    Why are these guys (Republicans) given the time of day? Somebody in some news organization going to start printing something positive about healthcare.

    September 1, 2009 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  4. Sean from Marin

    Please listen carefully elected Democrats: be bold or be replaced. You came sweeping into power to make "change" – so make it. If you are wrong you will be replaced. But if you do nothing you will also be replaced. So stand by your convictions and make something happen.

    The Republicans play you all like a cheap fiddle beause they are better at scaring throngs of uneducated voters. Your only option is to improve the lives of the uneducated throngs. The economy is starting to recover. The bailouts are slowly taking hold. If you can enact real health reform you willhave accomplished a tri-fecta by 2010 – and you will not be replaced.

    Add the audacity to your hope and shut down the fear mongerers once and for all. Make Rush and his clowns mute!

    September 1, 2009 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  5. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    I always thought the GOP was revolting..... no surprise here.

    September 1, 2009 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  6. Liberal4Obama

    Who's leading this revolution? Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin... or like I like to call them the Three Stooges

    September 2, 2009 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  7. Kathy

    Where have the Republicans been for the last eight years? We need some kind of heath care reform – we need this reform badly. The pharmas OWN Congress. It's time the Dems stand up for what is right and get this done. The Republicans have NO interest in any kind of health care reform and their goal – stated by many – is to bring down Obama.

    September 2, 2009 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  8. Wally

    Enough,of this. We all should come to the realization. The need to work together on this and many other well past. We have a great opportunity to put our country back in order. We have to get past the fear mongering,the name calling. Respectfully I expected much better out of both sides.especially the good Senator from the Volunteer State.

    September 2, 2009 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  9. geolink

    single payer now!!!!!
    Insurance companies suck!

    September 2, 2009 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  10. John

    Republicans: The party of NO.

    Full of threats. Full of gripes. Full of fearmongering. Short on solutions.

    September 2, 2009 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  11. Mich

    I agree with previous poster. Bring it ON! You bet there will be a revolution! A major one if health care reform DOESN'T get passed.

    September 2, 2009 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  12. michael

    This health care reform that everyone is saying Obama is tryign to do need to wake up and realize that
    A. He did not write the bill in any of the many versions that currently exisit.
    B. Democrats are fighting amonst themselves about what needs to be done and not be done.
    C. The democrats have enough votes to pass any legislation that they want without any republican support
    D. Anything the republicans are doing now is exactly what democrats were doing 8 years ago.
    All that being said why is it that politicians can't learn that when they rush a bill through many end up regretting it later remeber the Patriot Act that nearly all of congress voted for and what it allowed Bush to do that everyone was upset about later.

    September 2, 2009 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  13. jim

    for you, my friends, the revolution has brought it on your selves.

    September 2, 2009 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  14. Rob

    Good for the Democrats cutting the "party of NO" out of any talks, I have heard nothing but untrue statements coming from republicans about healthcare reform, the only reason they are up in arms is the healthcare industry that has been bribing them for the last eight (8) years stands to lose, and the US citizen stands to win, healthcare has gone up 78% since republicans & Bush took office, less people are insured, and profits for them have gone up (sounds like fuzzy math).

    September 2, 2009 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  15. DNA

    So, Three Trillion Dollars for a war that was based on lies is OK, but One Trillion Dollars for the Health Care of American Citizens is too much???
    You know what? Go to hell, republicans.

    September 2, 2009 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  16. R Phifer

    If you don't have health care and you get H1N1 you can blame the Republicans and the blue dogs Democrats

    September 2, 2009 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  17. nea

    Yeah Right! the Republicans just dont want the Democrats to pass a bill for health care reform. If they wanted health care reformed they would have been on board by now so dont try to use your scare tactics again it wont work on this one We will get Health Care reformed with or without the Republicans with the help of the Lord watch and see so i suggest the Republicans need to make up their mind quickly either for it or against it. Because when a good bill passes with the public option that will help many Americans thats will be deficit neutral wont nobody be mad but the devil!

    September 2, 2009 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  18. jay from jersey

    Yeah, a revolution that's gonna pave the way for the next Bush.

    Can't hardly wait.

    September 2, 2009 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  19. Jim

    It’s obvious to me that the Republicans decided at the beginning of this year that they were going to be against everything President Obama is for whether it’s good for America or not. The tactics they have used to stop health care when reform is so obviously necessary are truly amazing to me. Senator Alexander is full of it. The Republicans have no intention of working on this issue.

    September 2, 2009 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  20. g-man

    I hope the Dems do pass their own version of health care reform–WITH A PUBLIC OPTION–over Repub objections. Repubs are corporate minions.

    September 2, 2009 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  21. J of K

    If their plan is sooooo great, why are they making themselves EXEMPT from the plan and keeping their current taxpayer paid great coverage?

    September 2, 2009 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  22. Jim

    Republicans have shut themselves out of talks. They have no interest in helping anyone make the lives of everyone better. Only the rich will ever get their help.

    WHAT IS THE HANGUP? How can anyone be against universal healthcare. It is a no brainer.

    September 2, 2009 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  23. college grad

    Poor older white people with sensitive skin could jump for joy because they can finally get precancerous tissue removed from their bodies without the $3,000 bill that comes with it.

    A few old rich guys would be mad that they aren't making as much money.

    Which is more important....hmmm...

    September 2, 2009 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  24. Jack in America

    Obama and the Democrats are correct on the health care needing revision. The only thing the Republicans want is more money for the insurance companies and that is what we are trying to correct.

    Health care costs are too high and there needs to be a cap on those costs and all Americans need to be covered by health insurance.

    Let's make it happen and fix our health care system.

    September 2, 2009 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  25. Hal

    Just like a Nazi threats, lies and fear mongering. These people have betrayed this nation for decades and now it is coming home to roost.

    September 2, 2009 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
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