November 20th, 2009
11:34 AM ET
13 years ago

Democrats slam GOP as party of 'fear' in health care debate

Washington (CNN) - Traditional Senate decorum yielded to brass-knuckle politicking in the health care debate Friday as top congressional Democrats sought to close party ranks before a key procedural vote this weekend.

Senate Democrats slammed their Republican colleagues as leaders of a counterproductive party of fear caught in an obstructionist mindset dating back to the New Deal. Republicans, in turn, ripped Democrats for pushing a bill that conservatives claim will force millions of Americans to drop insurance plans they like while jacking up premiums and doing nothing to slow spiraling medical costs.

The harsh rhetoric served as a backdrop for a rare Saturday night Senate
vote on whether to formally proceed with floor debate on Senate Majority Leader

Harry Reid's sweeping $848 billion health care bill.

If Republicans stay unified in opposition to the bill, Reid will need the support of all 58 Senate Democrats along with independent Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut to reach the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster.

Three key Democratic moderates - Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska - have refused to publicly indicate if they'll back Reid. Each has expressed concern about the cost and scope of the legislation.

Filed under: GOP • Senate Democrats
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. Speaking for Liberals

    These guys are preaching to the choir. The people you need to reach are watching Faux News Channel. Take out radio and TV ads on that channel to reach the people that need to hear the truth.

    November 20, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but.....

    And yet we spend more on the military in one year than either the senate or house plans cost over ten years. Nice to see we've got our priorities straight. Have a nice day!

    November 20, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Billy J..Texas..

    Lieberman is a lost cause. A complete joke and as transparently bought as Jefferson, Trafficante, Delay or any other number of Dems and Repubs up there. I think the calls for term limits are a great idea. I know it will hurt when it forces out good civil servants, but it will also keep these guys at least a LITTLE more honest. And we need all the help we can get when it comes to that.

    November 20, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. Idiot_Pelosi

    Well good for the GOP, becasue I scared too.

    Let's stick with the facts:

    Does the DUMocRATic bill

    November 20, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. RAG

    The GOP is the party of fear in ALL debates. Fear, ignorance, division, hate, anger, self-righteousness, intolerance, prejudice, priviledge, and puritanism. That's why the are the prefered party of moral lepers of all sorts.

    November 20, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  6. George

    They should be slammed, The GOP preys on the ignorant. They did it with national security, now on health care. The ignorant are the pawns are are too uneducated to realize what the GOP stand for. They teach their lame that it is okay for a working person with 2 jobs and no insurance to die.
    The GOP is the death panel, and the lame think it's the government.
    The GOP sent our jobs away for their own greed, and again they tell the ignorant it's the dems.

    Wake UP America John Boehner and his greedy friends hate the working poor!!!!

    November 20, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Death Panels = Fear

    Simple and plain.

    November 20, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. No More Incumbents

    Look at the amount of fraud the government admits in Medicare payments, the way they have handled TARP, AIG, GM, etc

    Does anyone really believe they are capable of making anything better?

    November 20, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. Dave

    It's easy to be afraid of something you don't understand.
    "End of Life Consultation" is one of those things. (BTW, that's what people thought Death Panels are)

    November 20, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  10. katiec

    The republican party has become a gathering of irresponsible, radical extremists. They have abandoned all pretense of representing our country and us, prioritizing destroying our president, party first and win at any cost, regardless of the consequences.
    They demand that the crisises that took them eight years to create be resolved in ten months. They obstruct every policy regardless of the benefits to the American people.
    They have totally lost their way and are well on their way to becoming our countries most dangerous domestic terrorists.

    November 20, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  11. Dale

    Forget it lib's. Your tactics are not working any longer. You lie repeatedly and we are on to it.

    So far everthing you have said and done is wrong, your estimates on healthcare are wrong and just creating bigger government "Again"

    There's a list a mile long of incompetence. We want nothing more to do with it. Can't wait until 2012. Even my dem friends are ready to throw you all out.

    Your just not listening or your at least not listening to the majority.

    November 20, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  12. Tram

    Yeah, they're the party of fear, and one of the things they're really fearful of is not getting their share of the income from insurance companies overcharging people and not paying off claims.

    We need health care reform, and the GOP haven't lifted a finger to do anything about giving us that. The democrats are the only one. If the GOP don't like insurance, then maybe none of them should be insured.

    November 20, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. Marry

    It is about time that the Democrats clear some of the distortions the GOP is repeating again and again about Health Care Reform!
    There is the chance to vote in 2010! And then nobody should let the GOP get away with their NO to benefit the American people.
    Among the many very important reasons to get going on a comprehensive health care reform is exactly the money the republicans are moaning about and that “future generations” supposedly will have to pay for. Very wrong!!!!! This and future generations will save a lot of money and have much more available health care than without a good reform (public option). You do not believe this? Look at all the other industrial countries in the world with excellent health care at half the cost! Why? Because they do not have the insurance industries that suck all the money out of the system. Everyone that has become really sick and got ditched and has to pay the astronomical bills bankrupting them will love the new and level playing field!

    November 20, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  14. Debbie

    I think the Republicans will stand as a voting block as they always do. They don't vote for their constitutents they vote for themselves. Lieberman will vote along with the Republicans. He isn't an independent as he claims. Lieberman likes the publicity and he will go down as the no vote. Yet that is what will go down in history as well. A no vote on healthcare for the American people.

    November 20, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  15. kgeukes Michigan

    I have news for the congresspeople who decide that they want to waffle on can and will be replaced! If you want to keep your jobs it's time to do what your constuients sp? sent you to Washington to do...their bidding!!! Are you forgetting that you work for the PEOPLE and not the drug companies or healhcare systems?? Keep it can and will be replaced!!

    November 20, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  16. Indiana Voter

    This is funny come from the party that says if we don't pass this, thousands of people will die due to lack of insurance. Not to mention the stimulus bill, when they said that if we don't pass this now, the economy will collapse and unemployment would rise past 8 %. Oh wait, it did pass and we are over 10% unemployment. Yeah them Democrats really know what they are talking about. Idiots!

    November 20, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. Dave

    Here we go again. The Dems are screaming the Repbus are using fear. What a joke. What they are using is common sense. We can not afford ANYTHING right now. Obama is devaluing the dollar and driving the deficit up faster than any president ever before. We do NOT HAVE THE MONEY. It is that simple.

    It isn't fear, it is lack of cash and credit.

    Aside from that, the plan is a joke. It is almost a trillion now (but will be at least 3 times that because every single government estimate always is). The plan is for 10 years but the expenses only truly cover 5 years. We are going to be paying for this with massive tax hikes.

    Personally, I do not want to spend MY earned money on someone else unless it is a charity I CHOOSE. That is not our governments job.

    Answer this: How come it took 2 pages to say "Louisiana" is the state getting 100 million. It was a payoff to a Senator on the fence.


    November 20, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  18. Four and The Door

    We are hoping the Republicans can do a better job of stopping this really bad idea of an unaffordable health care bill than they did stopping the Stimulus spending bill which turns out to be a miserable failure and misuse of tax dollars.

    $850 billion now for a bill that does not add jobs, does not improve the economy and does not lower health care costs? This is just what happens when common sense goes out the window and political gamesmanship becomes the priority.

    November 20, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  19. Lucullus

    This is how the GOP has always done things. They calledFDR a commie for trying to American citizens in distress. They gave us the McCarthy hearings and now they just declare anyone who disagrees with them traitors and America haters. They really do offer nothing to the people of this country. Their constituency is the wealthy and well connected and the toothless gomers who are too stupid to pour pee out of a boot with the instructions written on the bottom.

    November 20, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. Louis

    Hopefully August 2010 will get rid of some of that "fear"!
    Magic 60 baby!!

    November 20, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. B

    The GOP had eight long years to instigate some kind of health care legislation and did absolutely nothing!

    Now, they still have nothing to offer but FEAR and Obstructionism ....

    GOP the party of absolutely ZERO !

    November 20, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. Mike Syracuse, NY

    The GOP causing fear? Oh really? It was the Democratic Obama Administration who gave a preview of what government health care would be like with the change in mammogram screening doctrine. Today these are just recommendations, but under governement health care they will be policy. That means don't expect the governmant to pay for screening before age 50. How many lives will that cost? Health care WILL be rationed, and cost/benefit analyses will be done to adjust medical doctrine to fit their idea of how to spend money.

    November 20, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. Peg, Carrollton, TX

    Its about time that someone spoke about the Republicans fear. They are afraid of everything. What a bunch of weaklings. I used to feel sorry for people who lived in that kind of fear all of their lives – the ones who must be armed at all times, the ones who fear everything in life. I used to feel sympathy but as I grow older I just want to tell them to GET A GRIP ,PEOPLE! GROW UP, LIVE LIFE.

    November 20, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. mark

    Obstructionist? Because Republicans disagree with how this bill reforms healthcare they suddenly become non-Christian, American-haters?

    And "back to the New Deal"? Let's have a conversation about which party started the Civil Rights movement in this was NOT the Democrats.

    Get a grip and stop lying to America.

    November 20, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. Slider

    I thought the GOP was the "Party of NO"?

    Sounds ok to me, since the Constitution is the Document of NO.

    Meanwhile, policemen, firemen and teachers in Indiana live another day without their pension because Barack Obama usurped the Constitution by subsidizing a foreign automaker to buy 20% of Chrysler by allowing the Treasury Department to downgrade the secured debt to fund those pensions to make it easier to hoodwink the laws on the books regarding bankruptcy.

    That's unconstitutional. Congress, not the Executive or Judiciary makes laws regarding bankruptcy.

    How's that for hopey-changey, you losers?

    November 20, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
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