September 1st, 2009
07:40 PM ET
11 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. gg

    who pays for this guys health care and every boby else that works for goverment wirlpool just moved to mexico why healthcare cost for those people who depend on there employers paying for there health insurance for life better hope theres a optoin there when they can,t afford it no more

    September 1, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  2. lorna

    And who is afraid of the GOP – no one – we are passing Health Care Reform – my any means necessary – will or will out them. These President has given them every opportunity to participate -they chose not to. So get out of the way and we will move on.

    September 1, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  3. John

    Nothing has changed since the last election when they got thumped. The entire opposition is built on lies and fear. Read the posts against reform here, and find one that is not blatantly ignorant or completely out of touch with the facts. NOT ONE! These are the lowest common denominator of society, victims of the right wing propaganda machine, not people with an honest interest in anything that is best for the country. Ignoring them is the only way to same them from their ignorant selves.

    September 1, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  4. S M R

    I think Obama should unleash Rahm.

    September 1, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  5. Rich

    Why are republicans always try to scare people. That is one the reason I cannot see eye to eye with them. For once senator show that you can be truthful. It seems that more people are for a new health care system. And for people that do not like Obama, I can respect that. But let him do his job. I was not a big fan of the previous administration, but I did not comport myself like some of the lunatics that we have running around now a days.

    September 1, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  6. Dave

    Do not post last comment please

    September 1, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  7. Brian NJ

    The Democrats really have no place complaining about how the Republicans are scaring seniors through lies and distortion. They have been doing it themselves for years. Remember Al Gore and Joe Lieberman going to FLA and telling seniors that voting for Bush meant they would lose their Social Security... did it happen? no... they also cannot complain about obstructivism. Bush tried to fix the housing and mortgage mess in 2003 and was stopped by the Black Caucus, Barney Frank and the Homebuilders Lobby. And there was absolutely ZERO cooperation from Congress with Bush the last two years of his presidency. The Democrats sat on Capitol Hill and did nothing for two years knowing it would help them in 2008... the best chance we ever had for universal coverage was under Nixon, with bipartisan support from Kennedy. That was stopped by the Unions, not exactly a right leaning group..

    September 1, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  8. SG

    Blaming the other side for your own failures? Unable to work on a bipartisan agreement? Well, I am scared. Scared healthcare reform won't happen. If it doesn't, I will make campaign donations to the opponets of everyone who voted against it.

    September 1, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  9. Aaron T

    It's time the democrats forgets about the GOPs and move on with the health care reforms. The GOPs had their time and since they don't know how to do, we have have to show them how.

    September 1, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  10. Emmanuel Goldstein

    "Bring it on" say the libs.

    Name the time and place. And bring your A game.

    September 1, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  11. Susan

    The only "scared" Americans are the ones who are ignorant and don't bother to get facts just listen to the scare tactics that the Republicans are jamming down everyone's throats. Republicans don't want goverment run health care because it would strengthen the middle class – which is a segment of this country that the conservative wing of the Republican party has been trying to destroy for over 20 years. Government can run a country, an army, our army's medical care and everything else in between, but yet it can't run healthcare better than greedy private insureres who deny coverage for a much needed MRI and make people bankrupt for ever having a medical problem? Even if you are an ignorant fool that listens to the Republicans scare tactics, you have to at least consider those facts. But who am I kidding, most those loud town hallers were and still are Bush supporters and you couldn't make them believe even if we already had a public option and it had been working – they would make up something to say it wasn't. I'm so tired of the lies and scare tactics.

    September 1, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  12. sally

    I think most Americans are "scared to death" that nothing will get done. I'ts that serious.

    September 1, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  13. Byron

    It's funny how Americans don't want health care because it's too expensive... but end up paying for the health care of representatives and senators.

    So it's ok for me to pay for someone else's health care but not ok for me to pay for my own.

    It's ok for me to pay for my senator's health care, but not for me to pay for the health care of my own children?

    Is our mind in the right place or did we just go crazy and no one told us?

    September 1, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  14. Zion

    Notice how older, white men are allowed to dominate talks about Health care. I believe that young people and women should have a bigger say in this bill because we are the ones who come out on the short end of the stick, after all, the older folks such as this Senator is already participating in socialism known as Medicare.

    September 1, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. Fan of Common Sense

    If the democrats do circumvent the republicans and THE WILL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE and try to impose a total socialist healthcare system on this country, their party will be rendered all but extinct over the next couple of election cycles. The people in this country are finally starting to wake up and realize just how much the democrats want to destroy this country and the American way of life and they are finally standing up and saying NO WAY!!

    September 1, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  16. T Mckinley

    If Universal Healthcare aka "Socialized Medicine" is so terrible and doesn't work, (as some want to claim), then why is it that absolutely NO country that has Universal Healthcare has got rid of it and gone to an American-style privatized (for profit) healthcare system?

    Can anyone name ONE SINGLE COUNTRY that has given up "Socialized Medicine" for a U.S. style privatized system?

    Even ONE?

    September 1, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  17. Joe Terrogano


    September 1, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  18. Joe Terrogano

    Is this guy embalmed?

    September 1, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  19. David R. Scott


    They are all LOSERS.

    September 1, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  20. Keeth in California

    Perhaps Sen. Lamar Alexander would like to share with us the name of the company (or government) that manages his health care.

    September 1, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  21. Phat Elvis

    Spread misinformation, then claim a groundswell of opposition. I dont think so.


    September 1, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  22. mike

    Come on Dems just pass this reform without the republicans, this is why we elected you. They will never never nver go for a piblic plan so why waist our time working with them on this. Its time we stand up and do the right thing, in the short term the dems will get the blame but in the long run its the right and best thing for America. Obama and Biden make this work.

    September 1, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. Matt

    Once you get past the GOP-orchestrated town halls (check for the papers they read their questions off-of), you'll realize that the only people screaming about reform, are the ones in bed with the insurance executives.

    September 1, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  24. Brit

    There they go again. The republicans attempting to whoop up an
    angry mob of wackos again. Maybe this time assault weapons should
    be banned from townhall forums and gatherings.

    September 1, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  25. sagin

    what is this buffoon talking about??Gee!

    September 1, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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