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. Dan

    Scare, we are all scare and our children has to be scared as well. The crazy spender democrats (in charge of the legislative branch for quite a while) are scary, really scary! They sell our future for fuzzy plans and old irrelevant ideologies!!!!!!!!!!!!! I prefer the "scare" over "spend," it provides for less risky future for my children.

    November 20, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  2. Aspen Professor

    Lets all send these blantant lying Repubs back under their rock and pass the bloody health care bill. Death Panels(?) The only real death panels are to be found in the Insurance companies who eliminate your insurance when you become terminally sick.

    Unfortunately, it is the right-wing extremists who are terminally ill from their constant lies and hypocrisy.

    November 20, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. Get Smart

    TO JACK IN ATLANTA: Then 911 never happened, right? And we never landed on the moon either. You poor ignorant people who support your great savior is the one who is going to destroy your way of life. you've been wanting to be treated equal but now you will have no chance with all the welfare being cut out from under you.

    November 20, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. Me

    Of course they are the party of fear . . . because this bill should scare the holy hell out of everyone!

    November 20, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. Pat F

    Did you like the Federal Death Panel's decision on mammograms? Then you'll just LOVE Obamacare – until they decide that YOUR life isn't worth the money to save.

    November 20, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  6. Honest AB

    Johnny DC – We just call it like we see it! Bush was doing worst than this administration, but strangely we didn't hear any of you screaming and crying about the deficit or what your grandbabies, babies, moma's babies and anybody else baby would have to pay. You people make me sick with your hypocricy. It is, what it is, racism and hate. The sad thing about all this is is that this had been going on in this country since the white man took over the land from the indians and mexicans, but no one ever complained. Where was the opposition then? Where was the outcry for justice then? Where was the worry of drowning in debt then? Oh, I forgot the right man with the right color was in office and it dosen't matter what they do, it will always be alright. This country is just sick! And to be honest, I am just sick of this country and its hypocricy and undercover of racism.

    So I guess the old saying applys here, "What's good for the goose isn't good for the gander." Right? Republican and conservative my foot, more like I will not be governed by a black man!

    November 20, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. Peter s

    Thats very true !! GOP has turned out to be fear mongers using fox news as their mouth piece!. Hannity, Becks and the likes. I bet they are good followers of Karl Max, " active social forces work exactly like natural forces: blindly, forcibly, destructively, so long as we do not understand and reckon with them. But when we understand them when once we grasp their action, their direction, their effects, it depends only upon ourselves to subject them more to our own will, and by means of them to reach our own end....when once their nature is understood, they can be transformed from master demons into willing servants" !!. Wake up tea baggers you have been duped!!

    November 20, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. Fnord-a-saurus Rex

    @ JONNY DC : The difference is that the "Death Panels" were completely fabricated to try and sabatoge health care reform. Calling the GOP the party of NO is based off of real life expeirences, what we see from thier actions. It's not a fabrication just because you dont agree with it.

    November 20, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. not just healthcare

    have you set down with your far right republican friends and had a discussion about politics?

    I have

    I am still friends with them, but their politics, sounding a lot like Rush, scared the hell out of me

    do not let these people lead the U.S.

    down with the GOP

    November 20, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  10. charlie in Maine

    Thoughtful opposition is a neccessity of democracy. I sure wish we had some. Saying NO in the meanest way possible to every effort is not the role the opposition should play. They should agree when they can push in what they think of as the right direction and save the strident opposition for matters of principal. The GOP is not behaving as it should but I guess I'm not surprised after all they behaved irresponsibly when they were in the majority as well.

    November 20, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  11. Melissa

    The Democrats are right.

    November 20, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. Mike

    Fear works. It got George Bush re-elected and from day 1 republicans have been hammering home the fear factor regarding Obama. The party of "no" is also the partry of fear. They aren't interested in solving the problem. All they want to do is point the finger of balme and make people affraid. It's worked in the pass, why stop now.

    November 20, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. haren

    This is for 'socialismbad'
    people who talk about socialism does not know what it means.
    Where were you when Dick Cheney said that 'deficit does not matter'.
    spend money to kill people is alright but save health of people is bad socialism.

    November 20, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. Marguerite

    They're not only fear mongerers – they're liars. "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." This is a complete fabrication.

    But the chickens are running scared – from health care reform to the terrorists trials, they're cowering like school girls. Fear is the only card they've got, they may as well play it. Too bad, that schtick isn't nearly as effective as it once was.

    November 20, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  15. Ron in California

    The problem is there has been no debate this is all on the DEMS sink or swim. Asking for open and honest collaboration isn't a bad thing it is what is needed to move this forward. For example the cost of this isn't really understood by anyone. Let me ask you, would you buy a house if you didn't know the price and how you would pay for it. Healthcare for all in a noble ambition, but this approach is insane.

    November 20, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. snood

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

    I remember the village idiot in office at the time did try to help end the BS Lawsuits and other little Health reforms but the dems in charge at the time blocked all efforts so they did try just went nowhere.

    This just is not a good plan for MN .

    November 20, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. haren

    this for Henry Miller, Libertarian
    Did you visited any free clinic run by Dr. Oz.
    they are not welfare recipients but regular guys with job, who can not afford health care in the RICHEST COUNTRY in the world.

    November 20, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. Independent1959

    Rationed care – America is already waist-deep in rationed care. Certainly not all American citizens have available healthcare. If you have insurance and a high deductible, this keeps many from even minor care to due the cost. Then insurance companies use every opportunity to deny coverage. Then move on to losing your job and can't afford the COBRA premiums and guess what? Your pre-existing conditions may never be covered again by any insurance company. All these are rationing.

    November 20, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  19. haren

    I fully support your idea.

    November 20, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. Dems Dems listen to yourselves...

    Dems, Deams just listen to yourselves you are not only the party devided but also look very much the party INCOMPENTENT

    America fear not the GOP for they are on track not going along with a bad-bill on health care reform....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 20, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. New Yorker

    Party of F – Fed up with massive, inefficient government
    E – Energized to take bring back Americans' freedom
    A – Angry about Obama and the liberals destroying this nation
    R – Resolved to vote all the liberals out of office.

    November 20, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  22. Mark

    I support the party of "NO" if it means not bankrupting our nation.

    Someone get these liberal idiots out of office asap!!

    November 20, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. Typical Republican

    Shut down the Police Department, Stop SS Checks, stop Medicare, Lift up the highways and DISBAND the military.

    Let's not be retarded my fellow republicans, let's be consistant...NO TO ALL AND ANY FORMS OF SOCIALISM....if you aren't for all of those shut downs and closures, and if you ride on any of them thar highways, you are a hypocritical dirt bag that is all talk and no action....SO I call you a raving MORON.

    Stand strong, let's tea bag until they disband that socialistic thing they call the MILITARY...Yeee haaa!

    (When do we stop being the morons in america?)

    November 20, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. haren

    Joe in NJ November 20th, 2009 12:13 pm ET

    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?

    This is another stupid argument that we don't have enough physician.
    Who cares for them right now? They are already in system and getting sick and taken care off by physician we have.

    November 20, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. Hammerer

    Healthcare will not ration care? In the last two days the administration has given a preview of the new way by cutting mammograms and pap smear test for women. That is just a start. The congress will make all of these decisions for you.
    All I have heard that the Repubs are a bunch of old white men, well look at the Dems that are making these choices. Are they qualified to decide what test women need?
    Be honest with yourself. Is that what you really want?

    November 20, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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