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. mc

    New Zealand has the best Health Care in the world – and it's a Universal system.......hmmmm – maybe this CAN work!

    September 1, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  2. Alfred E. Neumann

    If the Democrats had a spine true heal care reform would now be signed into law.

    See – Money Drive Medicine.

    In a recession you can remodel at a lower cost, buy a new car at lower costs, just about anything at lower cost –

    Except in the health care industry where the cost/profit margin always, always increases.

    Why? Stupid old white people would rather believe a "death panel" than the truth.

    September 1, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  3. Ron -- Seattle

    Public option is the only way forward. America without this reform is doomed.

    I would much rather have my politcal party fail then my country. Maybe that is the major difference between between dems and repubs. When Obama said "We are not a nation of red states and blue states, We are the United States!" The dems believed and the repubs didn't.

    The dems are the true patriots.

    What is the old saying about doing more of the same and expecting different results?
    Trickle down - epic fail.
    Deregulation - epic fail.
    War as first option - epic fail.
    Republican party - Epic Fail.

    September 1, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  4. Michael

    Typically republican. Veiled threats of violence if they don't get their way. When will people wake up? The insurance companies carefully planted the seeds of dissent, and the moronic followers of beck and doper limbaugh are adding the fertilzer. According to the World Health Organization, Great Britian's health care system is ranked 18th and the United States' system is ranked 35th. I guess rich republicans feel they are the only people who have a right to health care.

    September 1, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  5. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    This is the same clown that vehemtly defended Bush and the iraq War, going so far as to saying he had intelligence sources telling him that Saddam had a major stockpile of WMD's.

    So this guy has no cred at all!!!

    September 1, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  6. Knox

    I knew from the moment I got a form letter back from Senator Alexander about health care that he was going to be one of the voices of NO. He ignored all my questions and ideas and gave me back junk. There are too many people in our state that will really benefit from a change in healthcare (right now our less well off kids are covered by the big scary government). I respect my senator but if he thinks there will be a revolution, we'll give him one. I, and many other Tennesseans, will not be voting for him next time around.

    September 1, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  7. Frank Lee

    Yes, the republicans are revolting. They really are.

    September 1, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  8. LacrosseMom

    Revolution? Considering that the majority of Americans want healthcare reform, there already was a revolution in 2008 when America voted ........ for....... CHANGE!

    STOP the hate, lies, fear & division GOP!

    September 1, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  9. EBJ

    I think you can read the responses from the Republicans and their far right supporters here to see why we really need for the Dems to go ahead and get some sort of healthcare bill passed. One thing about those on the can not confuse them with facts and once they have ther closed minds made up nothing is going to change it.

    September 1, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  10. Kat

    I just hate stupid!!! How could a government run healthcare program actually work!!!! I can't!!!!

    September 1, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  11. Moderate Democrat

    This is a democracy, where the majority rules.

    We don't need 60 votes, retards, just 51. You get your vote, but the MOST votes win.

    Stop crying you retarded dirt bags. It's called the USA, and we rule by majority. It must suck to be a repulsive and ignorant do nothing. But then again, that's why you are the minority in Washington...because you have sucked your entire lives!

    September 1, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. kathy

    These stupid Republican losers will do or say anything because
    they have nothing to offer. Look at the idiot speaking in Hong Kong
    tonite. Think what would've been if she and McCaine were in office.
    God in Heaven Help us.

    September 1, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  13. James

    Listen floks, The GOP is the spokes party for the insurance compainies that are opposed to anyone not paying all their hard earned money for health care. They will try anything they can to prevent it. The GOP does not have a plan and if they did, I'm sure it would only benefit the rich. If you now have insurance, you may not have it in the future. If you are on medicare or government assistance, nothing will change. The rumers we hear each day are started by the GOP in an attempt to distroy something good for the American people. If not for the DEMs there would be no health care or anything else for that matter. Should health care fail, the GOP will pay the price in the next elections.

    September 1, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  14. Barry NiFong, Hawaii

    The government CAN'T run anything. I'm for healthcare reform, but not when the government is involved. Today, all the papers are talking about how the government cannot get mortgage reform to work.

    September 1, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  15. gg

    people who don,t pay out of there pocket for health insurance don,t care until its there pocket then wa-wa -wa

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

    The democrats did nothing for 8 years about healt care during Clinton term in office. They have been in charge of congress for the last 2 1/2 years and still don't do anything. All they do is whine about bush and blubber al over them selves when someone mentions Shara Palins name. Grow up and take responsability for what you can't accomplish. Wah Wah Wah

    September 1, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  17. Ron

    I wonder why Americans are "scared to death?" Couldn't be because of all of the lies the various special interests have propagated and that the Republicans have encouraged...."death panels" being just one of the many distortions and untruthful tactics used. While there are some legitimate issues, by embracing and encouraging out-right lies, the Republicans have shown their true colors on this one.

    September 1, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. B

    Yet another Old white guy in bed with the health corporations trying to scare people.. The Republicans are digging a very deep hole for themselves.


    September 1, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  19. Paul H

    Yes there needs to be reform. But not the radical, agenda driven, one sided back room, already written, and ill prepared mess of a bill they are trying to push right now.
    Come on guys reach across the isle, and meet in the middle. Think about what works, and what really sucks. The biggest problem with health care now is cost.

    September 1, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  20. JC

    The precedent of ramming things down the minority party's throat was set repeatedly during the W. Bush years. If I were the Dems I would go ahead and force fed the Repubs while it's their turn....

    September 1, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  21. jonathan

    Cost is the problem. We do not want to end up like Canada with a healthcare system that will fall apart in a few years, or like the UK where you might see a doctor in three days or two weeks. 95 percent of American's think marijuana should be legal so make it so and tax that. Use all that tax for healthcare.

    September 1, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Wow he is actually saying that democrats are racking up a national debt, did he forget about the Bush era. He cam into office with a surplus and in 8 years DESTROYED our economy. Republicans can not be trusted with things like the economy or healthcare. They know nothing about it!! They do not care about the middle class at all.

    September 1, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  23. Kevin O'Keefe

    Something needs to be done about the U.S. healthcare system. Prices are out of control. The GOP party has done nothing to fix the situation over the past 8 years at least we have a President whom is looking towards the future with some form of effort. Why is it ok for Hospitals to overcharge a person in need of medical help. Just an ambulance ride here in Southern California for a 5 mile ride cost my 86 year old father $800 dollars that is ridiculous. As a healthcare worker myself I am fully aware an overhaul needs to take place or this great country we live in will have worse times to face in the not so distant future. We know the wealthy never want to really help the poor why does the U.S. not start taking care of our own people here at home instead of giving Billions away to other countrys whom wish to do us harm.

    K. O'Keefe

    September 1, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  24. mike

    Dems want healthcare but they don't want to pay for it. Let the rich pay for it. Let "government pay for it." If you want a national solution and "we are all in this together" than propose solutions that puts some skin in the game from unions, trial lawyers, the middle class and other democratic constituents. If it is a national healthcare plan, everybody should feel their share of the burden. The plan costs too much. Insurance companies aren't evil. Doctors aren't evil. This bill has been very divisive along party and class lines, and that is the fault of the democrats who are making this about party and class. Raise taxes? Yikes but okay. But please get tort reform in the bill, and please tax everybody.

    September 1, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  25. RR

    Comments like this only hurt the Republican Party...

    September 1, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
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