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. Nick

    The GOPer's are the party of death. 40,000 plus Americans die annually because they cannot compete in this market based medical system and, adding to this, 100 of thousands more are suffering needlessly because are few stingy, greedy, self-serving miscrants named Republicans will not be merciful. If we can afford unjustifiable wars, then we can afford to be kind and merciful to other American citizens.

    November 20, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. katiec

    The republican party health care plan was a complete farce. The most important of all was no reforms, stipulations, oversight for the insurance companies. Big surprise, right?
    For some of you speaking about Christianity, if I remember right, it is also a sin to lie, distort, ignore your fellow men and women, be selfish and trying to impose your radical beliefs on others.
    The majority of the radical religious right are dedicated fans of the Limbaugh, Becks etc, and that tells us all we need to know.

    November 20, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. j

    The Grand Obstructionist Party is simply a group of fear-mongers and scaring people is all they seem able to do. No honest debates, an exaggerated distortion of the facts, and no proposals of their own is all they're good for.

    The Republicans are becoming increasingly exclusionary to anyone left or center of far right and increasingly evangelical. If you don't fit their neo-conservative ideology, you're out.

    I can't understand why anyone but the far right lunatic fringe voting for them.

    November 20, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. Jack

    And the democrats are the party of fiscal foolishness. Now if everyone could get along maybe they could come up with something America can afford and that is sufficient.

    November 20, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. JEANNE

    How is it that we can afford an expensive war -pork spending that is insane – yet when it comes to taking care of the health of our american people – then we better watch what we spend. We need to pass THIS health care reform NOW.

    November 20, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. Norman

    @Russ –

    paid for by taxes on those making more than $250,000. that's hardly what I'd call 'us'...

    that and getting rid of waste in healthcare, which will reportedly save us approx. 500 BILLION

    November 20, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. mjm

    Harry Reid's sweeping $848 billion health care bill.....which no one has read.

    Yeah, we're a little scarred. Mostly because Democrats just don't get it.

    If Republicans really hated people the way liberals on this site claim, they would have wrote this bill and passed it themselves.

    Because the lower to middle class will not survive this bill if it becomes law.

    Those making over 500k will do just fine....maybe retire early......move somewhere where they won't be taxed 40-45%...Like Costa Rica.

    November 20, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. Norman

    and right – Republicans should get their politicians to come up with some REAL solutions, otherwise, without doing anything, premiums will go up MORE than if we put healthcare reform in place.

    Party of No, Party of Fear? abso-freaking-lutely... history has shown this, time and time again... terror alerts, WMD in Iraq, now 'death panels,' etc etc.

    November 20, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. KLS

    The GOP has effectively used "fear" and "intimidation" AND “Christian family values” for years to scare the holy s... out of people who won't spend any time researching for the truth.
    The GOP doesn’t really care what happens to middle-class Americans because when they are in control the rich great richer and the poor get poorer.

    November 20, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. voter

    No way. I am shocked that the thugs are using fear tactics. Please. give me a break. If the thugs are so upset about goverment backed healthcare, then why don't they give up their medicare.

    November 20, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  11. Christian Values

    "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. "

    And this is the summarized idiocy of modern day republicans. They have been reduced to a party with nothing more then irrational conspiracies and bold faced lies. When you have no reasons, you make them up and try to convince morons they are true. The sad part, there are morons out there falling for these retarded and completely false fabrications.

    November 20, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. Steve (the real one)

    Yep! The party of fear! Fearing what the liberal agenda is about to unlease on this country! Hyper inflation, higher unemployment, a deeper deficit! You get the picture! The same government that owns the US postal service will it's $3.8 Billion in losses is branching out to conttrol health care and along with that is a threat of jail time and fines if you down fall in line! wHAT tir

    November 20, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. Steve (the real one)

    Yep! The party of fear! Fearing what the liberal agenda is about to unlease on this country! Hyper inflation, higher unemployment, a deeper deficit! You get the picture! The same government that owns the US postal service will it's $3.8 Billion in losses is branching out to conttrol health care and along with that is a threat of jail time and fines if you don't fall in line! What's not to fear?

    November 20, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  14. KLS

    Everyone in Congress has Cadillac health insurance paid by hard working Americans. Could this be the real reason the GOP doesn’t want to have health care reform?? I don’t think they want the American public to have what they have. It’s time to unite and tell Congress “No more of our taxes will be paid for your health care!!!” Let them deal with insurance companies like the rest of us.

    November 20, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. Barry In Las Vegas

    Why should Republicans vote on a bill that they had no input on and where every amendment they submitted in the committees were rejected.

    Reid hid behind closed doors for 3 weeks crafting this legislation with his fellow Democrats.

    Let them take all the glory for their work and quit blaming Repuplicans for their inability to move this legislation forward. They have 60 people and that's what it takes to get it to a floor vote – and $100,000 million dollar bribe to the Senator of Louisiana.

    November 20, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. Eddie

    The Libs (of which are most who post on this CNN site) represent only 20% – 25% of Americans......are absolutley horrified of Sarah Palin, but the real question is why? It is because she represents everything that Obama is not. Such as; Free Capitalism, pro-life, family & traditional marriage, a strong defense, proper use of natural resources such as God intended, and Liberty and Freedom which comes from a strong America by carrying a big stick!

    Of course Obamanomics has gotten us into the trouble we are in today, but you ain't seen nothing yet......the Dems ain't through yet!

    November 20, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  17. mjm

    I'm sorry...which part of this bill keeps people from dying again?

    Considering more than 45000 die per year with insurance?

    The senate bill covers 94%.....so if I were you liberals, who are so concerned about those 45000, I would hold out for 100%.

    Otherwise, you just don't care if people die.

    Hey, if I'm uninsured and I get killed by a bus....what was the cause of death? No insurance?

    Does Grayson think 45000 per year have "no insurance" on their death certificate as the cause of death?

    November 20, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. Sara

    Thanks a lot Republican Sen. Mary Landrieu. I'm looking forward to your re-election???????? Maybe we'll get a real Democrat that cares about us.

    November 20, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. trying to be reasonable in WV

    OK, guys, I'm a centrist and very disinclined to spout anyone's party line. Now, about the "party of fear" charge . . . Don't believe the partisans on either side of the divide. They're partisans, which too often means they'll lie shamelessly about the other guys (no surprise there). What is interesting amid all the screaming is that Poltifact.org' NON-PARTISAN website shows that a conspicuous majority of the "Pants on Fire" lies it exams come from Republican and other right-wing sources. These lies include some number about the health care debate. And for the record, the folks at PolitiFact don't discriminate–they've called Obama a "pants-on-fire" liar on certain claims he's made.

    So is the GOP the party of fear as the DNC charges? Could be, because they're inspired to lie about stuff far more often. Glenn Beck seems to be particularly addicted to it. See his ratings.

    You don't have to believe ME. Just check out the website. BTW, PoliiFact won a Pulitzer for their work.

    November 20, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. Mark L.

    Bottom Line – If You TRULY LOVE YOUR COUNTRY – THE GREAT U.S.A. – Vote 'YES' For Healthcare Reform Legislation, to include a NECESSARY Public Option to COMPETE with the GREEDY Healthcare Insurance Industry CEO's and Wall Street 'FAT CATS' who continue lining their pockets with the tons of money, We the People shell out every day paying these UNACCEPTABLE Insurance Premiums !! If, However, You Prefer to Side with the nazi-loving FACIST GOP Republicans – Vote 'YES' to 'DIE QUICKLY' – That's What You ALL Should Be Scared Of !!

    November 20, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  21. Moderate Democrat

    Republicans refuse to accept that this bill will DECREASE the deficit. They are either completely retarded, or willfully obstructionist. The facts are facts, This health care reform will REDUCE our deficit as such it is FISCALLY responsible.

    But morons will continue to refuse to accept the facts.

    November 20, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. Obama = WORST president EVER

    Hillarious.

    This from the party of Saturday and midnight votes to sneak this absurd 1,000+ page bill past all of us.

    Nobody wants Obama's socialized medicine...except for the gimme-gimme liberal posters on CNN. You can have it.

    November 20, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  23. Sean

    While I have many problems with the healthcare legislation that's been proposed thanks to insurance industry meddling and politicians putting re-election above a quality plan, I have to agree that the Republicans have absolutely been the party of fear in all of this. I mean seriously, "death panels"? The lies have been stunning in their blatant nature.

    November 20, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  24. Mark L.

    I really have to laugh – The GOP states "We Can't Afford to Fund Healthcare Reform Legislation !!" That has got to be the ABSOLUTE FUNNIEST THING I'VE EVER HEARD !! Hey GOP – We Can't Afford to Fund Healthcare Reform Legislation, especially with a Badly NEEDED Public Option, Right ?? So How Have We Been Able to Fund the UNJUST War in Iraq and the Failed War (under Bush / Cheney) in Afghanistan ??

    November 20, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. Caesar the Great

    Isnt one party continually calling the other party a "Party of Fear" just another fear tactic. Both parties suck, get rid of them all!!!

    November 20, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
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