November 20th, 2009
11:34 AM ET
11 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. dan

    The dems love partisan politics. The dems are the party of protecting trial lawyers. Specialists are leaving state because dems refuse tort reform. Consumers are getting the costs of this. One party monopoly on power is not good for democracy. GOP has no power.

    Dems are fighting among themselves. It shows the dems have lost their way when you look at the 09 election results. Voters are telling the dems too much and too far left and yet they don't care. If you've had your health care plan for a decade you don't want to be told my your employer you have to switch because the govt told you too.

    November 20, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. wait a minute

    I am an Independent, but I have not heard anything productive from GOP for too long. However, let's vote out the Democrats If they cannot get their act together and get the health care reform done with a strong public option.

    November 20, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. Mauiharper

    Hey GOP: News Flash, Everything you tell us to fear about Health Care Reform, the Insurance Industry is ALREADY doing to us! You tell us to be afraid, Yes, I am very afraid that my health insurance premiums will continue to go up 12% every year as they have for decades.

    I am afraid of rationed health care, which my insurance company has done all along. (I was in an accident, needed 2 knee replacements and my insurance company would only approve 1 MRI because I could only have 1 of the knee replacements approved. My Dr. asked me which leg I wanted to use for the rest of my life!)

    HCR can't come fast enough and the DNC needs to push up the date of effective changes. Don't wait till 2013. How about now?

    November 20, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. terry,va

    Don't worry about the GOP's. Get your stuff together and you won't need their votes. What a cop out! Obummie couldn't lead a 1 car funeral.

    November 20, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. Dems plns is NOT Reform - it is paper shuffling

    The democratic plan will bankrupt our country; worsen the quality of health care; cause millions of jobs to be lost; and do absolutely NOTHING about health care "COSTS"

    The Dems plan deals with INSURANCE COST and it does not address HEALTH CARE COSTS. There is a difference, and Dems and Obama choose to ignore it.

    November 20, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. Joe in NJ

    If 30 million uninsured Americans are suddenly thrown into the system if a health care bill passes, where are the resources (i.e. people) going to come from to support them? For example, as it is, there are not enough general practioners in this country. How come hardly anyone ever talks about this?

    November 20, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. Robert

    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.

    Translation: There in bed with the Insurance Co's.

    November 20, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. dan

    GOP has no power. Dems have a filibuster proof majority with 60 seats and have a huge majority in the house. Obama will also get 6 supreme court picks most likely. The dems are blaming the GOP because the few moderates left in the dem party are saying they have moved too far left. The dems blame the GOP to hide their own infighting.

    November 20, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    At least the Senators, like the House, won't have to waste a lot of time actually READING the bill. Talk about party politics. I need to get one of these congressional jobs, it looks like the best job in the country to me.

    November 20, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. LacrosseMom

    There is no doubt that the Republicans are the party of hate.... lies.... fear and division! Have we forgotten the vile campaign of McCain/Palin?

    Have we forgotten the internet rumor started by GOPers that "Obama is a secret Muslim"?

    Have we forgotten Palin telling crowds of GOPers "Obama pals around with domestic terrorists" ?

    How about the internet lie, from Palin about "death panels" to scare our Senior citizens?

    LIEberman is a traitor, a liar and a turncoat, he does not have values, they are for sell to which ever party will benefit him the most!

    November 20, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  11. Ben in Texas

    Here are the greatest fears of the Repugnants:

    1. Obama will succeed as a president
    2. Health insurance reform will pass and be a success
    3. The economy will rebound and the jobless rate will fall.

    If those things happen (all of which would be good for America as a whole), the Repugnant Party would be no more. That's what really scares them, and that's why they are totally against anything Obama proposes.

    The proof is this: If they didn't fear these things, they would simply give the Democrats enough rope to hang themselves.

    November 20, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. Dan, TX

    This is a joke. Democrats will do/say anything to score points. They do not know that the health-care reform is their downfall. We do not want to read what CNN and other supporters of Barack regime wants to say here. American people are smart and they know what to do next. Watch out.

    November 20, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. terry,va

    We are on the way to a nanny state. That's what Obummie wants so he will get all the welfare votes. Time to get off the tit and man up!!! Say no to Obummie and socialism.

    November 20, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  14. Let the Pork Spending Bids begin

    As Reid tries desparately to pass ANY bill - watch the back door porl spending and earmark bidding to begin

    Senator Snow - $ 5 billion for Maine for her vote

    Senator Liberman – $7,500,000 for CT and a promise not to go with the public option in the final bill

    Senator Landrieu gets $100 million for New Orleans and the coast

    Senator Lincoln get a 10 pound ham (they are not too savvy in Arkansas)

    and Senator Nelson of Nebraska gets a BCS BOwl bid for Nebraska

    November 20, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. haren

    I am amazed that a bill which is identical to all western democracy where all average people are happy except very few has so much trouble in America.
    I fill pity for the republican voters and their Representative for playing politics with health of people.
    They are siding with insurance co. who has no input in the business of health care except making 30% profit.

    November 20, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. Sheryl

    Please pass this bill...... PLEASE!!!!!!

    November 20, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. sean

    So, using the excuse that they crashed the economy and ran up $trillions in deficits, NOW they want to not do Health Care Reform because it costs too much! That's rich. Look, the Republicans have shown themselves for what they are: anti-poor, anti-middle-class, pro-business (at all costs), pro-rich, pro-war scaredicats who are out for themselves. They have no morals, and no values, and bring nothing of value to the table. Their tools are fear, smear , lies and Faux News.
    What they have got on their hands now is a "Tea-bag" revolution with nut jobs like Palin, Beck, Limbaugh and a host of white supremicists out there that finds them not quite conservative enough and running competing candidates. Serves them right. Republicans should shut up and let someboday take charge to clean up their mess. When they get their brains back, and return to the political center, we'll listen. Until then, enjoy the political wilderness.

    November 20, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  18. Tim

    We are the party of fear. We fear what the democrats are doing to the work ethic of the American people, and what they are doing to our children's future. And we fear what government intrusion into our health care will do for our well being in the future.

    Rather than passing healthcare, why don't they work on a plan to motivate the lazy?

    November 20, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. Johnny DC

    Fear and Racism. The Democrat equivalent to "Death Panels".

    It's not okay for the GOP to use misleading statements like "death panels", but it's perfectly alright for the Democrats and Liberals to repeatedly dub the GOP the "Party of No", the "Party of Fear", and the "Party of Bigots" whenever it suits them.

    The GOP has ideas. The GOP has concerns. The ideas get squashed in committee and never see the congressional floor, and somehow the Liberals continue their claims that there are no ideas from Conservatives. The concerns get twisted into hate-mongering, fear-stirring, and racism.

    Liberals are so drenched in arrogance, it is sickening.

    November 20, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. CommonSense09

    My wish is for the Congress/Senate to have lay offs! Let them see 1st hand how it feels to lose your job, insurance and find a job all at the same time??? Not to mention they have better insurance plans than the working people, who voted them into office.....Go Figure!

    Then and only then will they have a balanced view over the health care bill because it will effect them….

    November 20, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  21. Voice crying in the Wilderness

    It's a shame that there is not some constitutional law against deliberately misleading the populace. The GOP have gotten away with scare tactics for so long that they have taken it to a new extreme, and make littlle or no attempt to even disguise their lies. The sad thing is, the gullible and ignorant believe them.

    November 20, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. Tim

    Did you see that 2/3 of all fraud recovered dollars come from healthcare? The other 1/3 came from tax cheats that Obama put in his administration.

    If 2/3 of all recovered fraud comes from healthcare, and we likely recover very little of the overall fraud, it makes perfect sense to me that we should expand the governments involvement in healthcare and make the opportunity for fraud that much greater.

    After all, how do you think many democrats make their living anyway?

    November 20, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  23. David

    Typical of the two-party scam being pushed on us. Each party loves to name call and we sit back and take a side and nothing happens for our betterment. The bill is bad anyway.

    November 20, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. Obama 2.0

    You can only use fear/cry wolf for so long and then the people learn.

    November 20, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. call me crazy

    Yes you republicans are afraid. You are afraid this health care reform might pass and ultimately, you are afraid Obama will succeed. He will succeed in doing something that the last two administrations couldn't do.

    Like children, you are afraid of not having your way anymore and that scares the begeezus out of you.

    November 20, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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