November 22nd, 2009
02:03 PM ET
12 years ago

Freshman Dem: Passing health care reform worth losing my seat

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Colorado Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet said Sunday that he is ready to lose his seat if that's what is necessary to pass a health care reform bill."]
Washington (CNN) – A freshman Democratic senator said Sunday that he will support his party’s efforts to pass health care reform legislation even if that means losing his seat in next year’s midterm elections.

“If you get to the final point and you are a critical vote for health care reform and every piece of evidence tells you if you support the bill you will lose your job, would you cast the vote and lose your job?” CNN’s John King asked Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado on Sunday’s State of the Union.

“Yes,” Bennet bluntly and simply replied.

Bennet was appointed by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter to replace Sen. Ken Salazar, who stepped down from the Senate to serve as President Obama’s Interior Secretary. Bennet, who was superintendent of the Denver public school system prior to his appointment, will have to seek election to the seat for the first time in 2010.

Related: West is tough terrain for Democrats

Filed under: Colorado • Health care • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. Rob

    Its not about losing his seat.
    Well it is, because he knows that if this is passed that many lives will be lost because of it.
    He knows that the taxes are going to sky rocket.

    He is fully aware that as long as he is out of office when this whole things happens he can not be held responsible for the destruction of America.

    They are taking from the upper and middle class to give to the lower class. Where are the middle class perks from the Govt? Where is the middle class government housing? Where is the middle class assistance checks? They dont get it. But we give everything to the lower class. Well that is minus the mammograms and pap smears when they are younger than 50.

    November 22, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. Tim

    Let's kill two birds with one stone. Vote down the proposed healthcare reform, and then let the people of Colorado vote one more Democrat out of office.

    November 22, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. MK03

    I have a question for all you Republicans flooding this thread with your vitriolic comments: Remember when Bush was in office & you gleefully proclaimed anyone who disagreed with the President to be an un-American scumbag who needed to leave the country if they didn't like the current state of affairs? It is awfully tempting to use that same kindergarten-level logic on you guys right now.

    November 22, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. WeThePeopleofVirginia

    We have 10.2% unemployment and the President can’t find enough qualified candidate for the open US Agency slots . . . anyone care to guess what Department Bennet ends up heading?

    November 22, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. Denis

    Let's hope he does lose his seat. The 2 greatest flaws with this monstrous bill are, firstly, that it does'nt touch the astronomical awards to lawyers from health-related suits, resulting in astronomical insurance costs for doctors which must be returned to the consumer (i.e. no tort reform. Are there any lawyers in the Congress or Administration by any chance?). Secondly, it takes our health care out of the hands of ourselves, and our doctors, and puts it into the hands of DMV-like bureaucrats. It is another trojan horse bill that will allow the continuing growth of government and diminishment of the private sector.

    November 22, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. vlj in mn

    Works both ways. I recall having 2 wars shoved down our throats, too, without much debate. Don't forget the costs we are incurring in war, both financially and in human toll. And, where were all those fiscally conservative lawmakers when GWB ran an open checkbook during his term? Back then, you could hear a pin drop with their lack of response. Now, it's all about the huge debt our grandchildren are going to incur.

    I wish more lawmakers were less concerned about re-election than about making what they feel is the best decision for their constituents and country.

    November 22, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. jkm

    No TORT reform because everyone knows the trial lawyers are the biggest contributors to the Democratic campaign funds.

    Question – If it takes a total of 13 – 14 years to become a Surgeon, then why shouldn't the surgeon be able to make more than 250,000 dollars? Why is it OK for Angelia Jolie to make 15 million per movie? Maybe we should taxing 50% of all movie profits above 250,000 dollars to pay for this dumb bill!

    November 22, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Good for you Senator. Some bravery and decency amongst the rhetorical garbage. You will be re-elected. The majority of Americans want healthcare reform despite what the propagandists say.

    November 22, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. Mike in Texas

    To Linda:

    Both parties are in bed with special interests and big businesses. Some may share the same partners while others have different ones.

    So please don't come in here and act like the Repubs are goody two shoes and do no wrong. and the same goes for Dems in here.

    Both sides stink. The only decision to make it whose stink offends you the least.

    November 22, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. Don

    If the people in Colorado wanted their voices heard in congress they should move to impeach this idiot right now. This senator has no integrity and should be removed from office no matter what is on the agenda. It’s by the people for the people, not by the senators for the senators.

    November 22, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. JJ in Chula Vista, CA

    Republicans embrace the mantra: "It's either my way or the highway."

    Republicans behave the same as unruly teenagers that don't know what's good for them.

    In the 1960s there were many who stood steadfastly against Civil Rights legislation, and there were those who voted for meaningful legislation and lost their jobs for it, and it was ultimately for the good of the country.

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

    I guess I don't understand his logic. If he believes that by voting for this bill he could lose his seat, doesn't it stand to reason that he would lose his seat because his constituents don't want this legislation? Maybe someone needs to remind him that he is there to represent the people of Colorado, not the Democratic party.

    November 22, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. Jay

    jkm wrote "No TORT reform because everyone knows the trial lawyers are the biggest contributors to the Democratic campaign funds."

    If that is true, then lawyers will remain unconstrained in filing baseless lawsuits against medical providers, and the cost of medical malpractice insurance will continue to skyrocket. That is not sustainable.

    November 22, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. Former Marine '69 '72

    This has nothing to do with what Bennet "thinks" is the best thing to do. He is being forced by the powers that be, to vote for this debacle.

    All the Liberals here think they are getting something for nothing. WHO is going to pay for this bill? Thats' right, it is going to be your children and theirs. I never hear the left addressing this question.

    And JOE, LOL, calls Conservatives "teabaggers" and invokes the name of Jesus in the same paragraph!

    November 22, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Terry

    Stay the course and support this useless and wasteful bill. Remain true to your convictions; that no matter how bad this idea is, you will see it through to the end.
    Politicians are useless.

    November 22, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. you are clueless

    Huh??? The health care that congress gets at our expense is not what congress wants us to have. How many of them have lined up and proclaimed they will be happy to be covered under their own creation? It also appears that not all will be covered under this plan after all. Odd after all their noise about everyone must be covered .

    @Bev November 22nd, 2009 11:17 am ET
    Republicans will benefit from the 2010 and 2012 elections-–as they will take the seats of the Democrats who are booted from office!!!
    ***YOU LIE***All American do not listen to Beck and Sean and we are not Tea Baggers or should I say Street Preachers*** We want the same Insurance that Congress has paid by Tax Payers ****

    WE the People thanks and supports you Senator Bennet!!!

    November 22, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. Steve

    You will have the opportunity to join many of your unemployed democrat colleagues next year. What you have failed to learn is that this is a representative republic. The will of the people should trump your undemocratic agenda of the socialization of 1/6th of the US economy.

    November 22, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  18. John

    A perfect example of why we need TERM LIMITS – If all these Representatives and Senators were less concerned about keeping their seats, and more concerned about doing the right thing, then th lobbyists would yield far less power and control over them, and us.


    November 22, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  19. Stephen Giesbrecht

    I hope the people of Colorado truly understand the courage of Senator Bennet. In the history of the United States, we have occasionally been in this situation where calmer heads are needed to cut through the BS and give the American people what they need. Affordable health care should be a given in our country, instead we find ourselves being compared to third world countries because of how we treat our elderly and poor. I for one am tired of listening to the right wing talk about Christian values while they support companies and policies that are the farthest thing from Christian you can get. bet!

    November 22, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. Nola

    I admire a person that is willing to stand for what he/she knows is right and not fold because a group of "don't want nothing" yell. I admire someone who lets everyone know that he/she is not holding own to this elected position to earn more money as well as being able to retire with a hugh retirement package.

    November 22, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. not alone

    you know all thies conservitive nay-sayers wernt saying to much 3 years ago when they had both houses and the presidency.Not when they was pooring all our money to thier rich friend who then turned around and drop america to the brink of sefl destruction.Where was you then you sooo called conserivite proponents,teabaggers and rush?where was you when the republicans where loading down every bill in booth houses with earmarks for their so called pet projects.Where was your outrage when then president Bush reduced taxes and the richest Americans during time of two wars(the only president in the history of out great country to do so)Where was the arrogent attitude you had then.You have become the party of no to helping this country.You have become sooo full of youselfs that you Foget what you did with the good times(you know when you took a surpluse and ran up a huge deficet)How can you even sit back and complain when it was your partys fualt that we are in the mess and it has to be fixed now rather then later?So please stop all your whinning and complaining becuase you are as much as fualt for this mess this country is as the Dems are for helping you all make it.Both parties have ruined this country by their greed and giving it all away to the rich and comunist counties.So please don't tout that American flag and self righensess any more we are sick and tired of you blamming everyone but yourseflts.Time have come for a third party for the people and one thats not in the corperate interests pockets as are both parties Dems and Rupubs alike.

    November 22, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. Sunny

    If socialization means that 30 million un-insured and all those who are getting rejected by insurance companies get insurance,, then I have no problem with even Government taking over the health sector. Heck with it...We are the only country in the world who dont have it and thats only because we have even 'enterprised' the basic need,, health. I mean c'mon,, none of these republican sentaors realize that? We dont need health insurance for these 30 million people? what options are they presenting other than 'nothing'?

    On the original bulletin.... I congratulate the senator for his courage. Americal people are not dumb,, for one vote to cover health insurance doesnt make voters turn away from you,,, As much as media is saying, I dont believe that American voters are just hung up on factor when voting for their senators..

    November 22, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. susie

    Anybody who didn't read the 2,000 plus health bill should be voted out.

    November 22, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    Good for him. For those saying "How can he vote against his constituents", I say if he lost his seat (and we don't know he would), it wouldn't be by a large margin. Most American's want a public option and they are split over this bill. They are split because most Americans are also stupid, listen to the fear and BS from the republican party and vote against their economic and social interests. It's hard to educate people when the media isn't doing it's job (i.e. reporting the facts), many politicians are full of crap (both dems and republicans) and many liberals hate the bill as it doesn't go far enough (aka single payer).

    November 22, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Alan Hamby

    Since he said every piece of evidence tells him that he will lose his job if he supports the bill, that tells me that his constituents do not want him to vote for the bill. His job, his ONLY job, is to represent his constituents and he is blatantly stating that he will not do so. That goes against our system of government plain and simple.

    If he refuses to represent the will of his constituents because he personally doesn't agree with them, then he deserves to lose his job.

    November 22, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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