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. GOPhatesAmerica

    To RAL: Wow – did you get past the 2nd grade? With grammar/spelling this atrocious, you should cut your losses now and just end it. Don't worry about Health Care Reform, you've got MUCH bigger problems.

    November 20, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. Dale

    If Republicans really cared about budget, we wouldn't spend more than the rest of the world combined on "defense". Much of that spending is just pork barrel payoffs to the corporations in their home districts. Cut that out, and we could afford free world class health care for every citizen in the country with no Federal deficit.

    I agree with the article– Republicans are just using fear as a political tool. Again. If you recall, we were feared into the Iraq war. We were feared into the VietNam war. Fear is truely the Republican's best and only thing they have to offer.

    November 20, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Henry Miller, Libertarian

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

    That's because the GOP, brain-dead as it often is, at least understands that bankrupting the country to give "free" health care to welfare bums is a truly bad idea.

    November 20, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. Repub-no more

    Republicans have opposed Social Security, Medicare and the Prescription Drug Act with the same philosophy..."scare the uninformed to death!"

    November 20, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. Always a Conservative

    What do you expect from the Dems. The health care bill will just speed up the death of America as we knew it. The bill is 2.2 million dollars more than the 848 billion he tells everyone. These are the hidden costs involved. You know, it's like reading the sales fliers in the Sunday paper and you see the headlines about a product you think would be good to have and boy, the price looks great. When you go to purchase the product at the store you find out it will actually cost you. That is exactly what is happening here. But put the cost aside for a minute and let's say the cost is only 2 million dollars. This health care plan is not beneficial to the American people. The people behind the bill and the folks wanting the bill have not read the bill. They listen to democrats discussing it.The influential dems in congress will feed America BS to gain control. This is all this is about.

    Please, Please, no one tell Obama what comes after Trillion.

    November 20, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. Reformed Republican

    Hey, ak @ 12:31...

    You nailed it!

    It's fear, with strong undertones of race, that's causing all the right wing and teabagging batcrap crazies to think that dumping HCR with a PO is a good thing.

    So much for those Talibangelical "christian values" wouldn't you say?

    November 20, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. WIlly Brown

    Here comes the real fear mongers. The Democrats!

    November 20, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. A prayer

    God, please save use from the ignorance of the Republican party!

    November 20, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. Idiot_Pelosi

    I love the morons on this board who chastise the GOP for saying no.

    It's of course the people who want something where someone else has to pay for it.

    Cheat on your taxes.
    Don't hire DUMocRATS
    When it comes time for a layoff, layoff the DUMocRATS

    GIve OBUMMER and his pals the CHANGE they want: UNemployment

    I will not pay any more taxes or fees for OBUMMERs socialist agenda

    November 20, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. Dan in Louisville

    Whatever works...
    Democrats, of all people should be able to understand that tactic very well – they use it all the time.

    November 20, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. LacrosseSon

    I always love how Democrats come up with catching sayins: "LIEberman, Rethuglican" ect. Both parties like to kill debate, if one tells you the other one is, it's probably because they are trying to do it there.

    November 20, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. Tina

    I wonder why is it that the Democrats write the Health Care Bill in 2,000+ pages compared to the U.S. Constitution; and in languages that ordinary citizens of this country can't understand because of the unbounded references to so and so? This health care bill is subject to much corruption as if we didn't learn from the recent mistakes of stimulus plan that the Democrats push and are in err of reporting the job they save. If the government can't figure out how to control and manage the stimulus plan and wasted billions of tax dollars money, boy - what more with health care bill. How many people will be denied because of beurucracies and this pervasive, intrusive government take over of our choice for health care and treatment.

    Democrats I cannot believe you are all in denial!!!! Don't be fooly - I know you are way smarter than be smitten by the "politically polished Obama" with no truth nor honor in his words. A wolf in sheep's clothing.

    November 20, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. Katie B in NC

    Why are the Republicans opposed to even bringing it to the floor for debate? Is it because they don't have any rational arguments against it that will hold up? Every lie they've thrown at this can be countered with facts. They don't want the American people to see that they're just a bunch of hysterical ninnies.

    November 20, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. Nico, NM

    JUST IGNORE the Confederate..oops, I mean..Republican Pary.

    November 20, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. Tommygunn


    Come with your "A GAME".

    ENOUGH with all the FEAR and HATE tactics.

    Which one of you don't have a RELATIVE on MEDICARE/MEDICAID or SOCIAL SECURITY? Anyone that can answer this question with I have no relative that is on it or been on it, then you can say NO! This is where the REPUBLICAN PARTY IS VERY HYPOCRITICAL and NARCISTIC.

    I am fiscally concerned as every other AMERICAN on this matter, but PLEASE STICK TO THE FACTS.

    I also understand the ONE-OFF items on the bill that may have others in ARMS...and within those structures was is reasonable versus the extremes.....ENOUGH...

    But did anyone check to SEE HOW MANY on RNCs Insurance Policy USED THE ABORTION BENEFIT (over 20 years) before they noticed this week and took it off?


    November 20, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  16. Dave

    GOP bloggers – would it be too much money if these resources were for war?

    November 20, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  17. Chanel

    Health reform is important, and if Democrats get this bill through with no help from Republicans, it will make Republicans look like the party of No.

    Are Republicans worried about this? No. Because they are playing to their base. Unless you are in a solid red state this a bad idea because the majority of Americans want a change. They are not happy with the status quo. They want health reform.

    November 20, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. Jeff

    "We can't afford it right now" is garbage. Where was the Party of No when when Dubya pushed off-budget huge tax breaks for the ultra-rich and an off-budget pointless war?

    November 20, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. Buffalo Bill

    FEAR? Absolutely! I fear the consequesnces of this 2000 plus pages of "progressive" health reform, that NO Senator has read fully, and the majority of Americans do NOT want!

    November 20, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  20. Independent1959

    I'm amused. For months I've been calling the GOP the Party of Fear. They are afraid of everything. I fear the GOP's inability to do anything positive or have any vision of the future at all. When Bush/Cheney showed me they intended to rule with fear I dropped my GOP registration back in 2003.

    November 20, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  21. Glen

    The Democrats are "hell bent on destroying this country" (???) Last time I looked, former president George "W" Bush had done a pretty good job of doing just that. The Obama adminsitration and Congressional Democrats are merely and mightily trying to right the ship that Bush wrecked. Put the blame where it really belongs!!

    November 20, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. Linda

    Reality Check:
    Democrats have themselves to blame for their troubles as their own actions show their intentions or lack good decision making skills to benefit the people.

    Even though we know Obama has talked of rationing health care to cut costs, even though he doesn't use the word "ration", he had his town halls explaining he would do this. He said "a prescription will be cheaper than a procedure".

    Now, really, only morons would come out with rationed health care guidelines before they're trying to Rahm thru their Health Insurance Care. But I won't look a gift horse in the mouth.

    Worse, it points to his view of women being 2nd rate. Not only is he changing guidelines for cancer screeing for early detection, he is also removing Self Examinations from being performed. Is he insane? That is saying he doesn't want you to find something that will kill you. Mind blowing.

    No, no, this is the democrats own doing. Welcome to the real world.

    November 20, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. simp

    Why even list liberman as a democrat that traitor will vote with the GOP we should have got rid of him after the election. I saw some of palins interview with barbara walters and boy is palin the bigget idiot on the planet. she rambles on about issues and she makes no sense, how in the world can anybody seriously consider this moron for any leadership role, she's an idiot.

    The GOP are not making any money off of this health care reform so I'm not surprise they are not voting for it. they want to keep the american people beneath them that way they feel superior. I suggest we take away all of their insurance and let them pay for their own out of their pockets. it's unfair for them to continue to whine while so many americans don't have any coverage.

    November 20, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  24. Paul from Phoenix

    Women were just told that they don't need ammograms until 50, and that Pa smears are not needed until 21. This while cancer and HPV rates are rising at an alarming rate.

    These are the types of decisions that this health care plan will endorse. THese are terrible decisions. It is not about the GOP being the partry of fear (more like incompetence), but more about Americans seeing the direction this bill would take health care and being strongly opposed to it.

    How about this, how about the government create a program for the 20 million uninsured, and leave the rest of us alone.

    November 20, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. Sea.gem

    Is this the 'I'm rubber, you're glue" defense for Dems...why not answer the questions....e.g. You lie about the cost... the House vrsion was passed crowing that it will save money thru cuts in Medicaid week later 300 bilion was authjorized for Medicaid that was counted as "savings' in hte House bill..that is can choose to be fearful or suspect of the next round or not.

    November 20, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
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