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. wayne

    I wish more senators thought like this then maybe we would get decent people running this country. It is an embarrassment to have Senator from Kentucky with unhappy and unhealthy people and both oppose the public option. It could be they are happy with the money that private insurance companies have given them.

    November 22, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. ysidero

    for once, a legislator with some guts – i am a native coloradan and this makes me more proud than ever! he doesnt need to fear for his job. those who say that the majority of people dont support healthcare reform – including the public option and respect for reproductive rights – are full of the usual right wingnut spin. u go, senator bennett!

    November 22, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. KJ

    Im not sure how right-wingers can claim to be the majority of americans. After all, if that were the case, wouldn't the congress have a republican majority? Seems more likely that they are simply the loud minority. Saying that a senator is supposed to vote based on a complaining minority is silly. The majority of americans are under-educated and it is the job of the elected official to know more than the constituents about the issues in the bills. If you think he should vote based on the whims of some crying people who know less than he does about the bill, you really need your head checked.

    The majority of americans overwhelmingly want healthcare reform, nearly 9 out of 10. However, those people disagree on whether or not the current bills are the best choices available. That still means they want reform. Something needs to be done and at least we are finally getting some people in office with the heart to fight for what is right and not cower to the lobbyists and fascist party of the right.

    I hope they are able to get this done soon so we can move on to getting out of these ridiculous wars and putting money back into this country instead of spending it fighting other ones.

    November 22, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. gavin

    Theres a reason taxpayers don't want this.We have already seen how incompetent government plans are costing us ungodly amounts of money; You have already gotten yourselves rich thru Bank of America and i am sure ALL of you crooks in Washington will financially gain from this as well...You all should be removed from office ...and be made to pay back all the illgotten gains that you have made while in office...

    November 22, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. Dave C - NJ

    Obama told us this was coming.

    He won.

    This bill is a shock to everyone?

    November 22, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Joe

    He shouldn't have to wait until elections to lose his job, his constituents who he is supposed to represent should vote to recall him immediately.

    Those of you saying he stood up for the people have it wrong. The fact that he thinks he may lose his seat tells me he did not do the will of the people who elected him, the people he represents.

    If you are hired as a spokesperson for a company, you say and do what they tell you, your personal beliefs and opinions are just that... "yours" and you better keep them to yourself or you're going to need to find a new job. If you don't like the views you are asked to represent, you should resign immediately.

    Those of you slamming McConnell and Kentucky.... I live in KY and I have health insurance. It costs me $102 a month, and the government doesn't pay any part of it. Now prove to me I won't have to pay more under this new plan.

    November 22, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. terry,va

    When are the arrogant senators doing to do what their people want? Losing his job is not enough, they should be put in prison.

    November 22, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Dave C - NJ

    There are 40 million uninsured. There are 1000 teabaggers.

    What was that about a majority?

    November 22, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. Razorback

    An appointed Senator putting "Party Before Country"-isn't that what you CNN bloggers are always accusing Republicans of doing?
    But this guy is a Democrat-so to you he is actually "voting his conscience" or "doing what's best for America", even though it's against what his constituents want!
    And to the poster who stated that Blanche Lincoln favors a public option-she must have changed her mind since 0600 this morning when I heard her say that she would vote AGAINST any bill with a public option.

    November 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Tim

    Let me connect the dots

    Reverend Wright: "God D*** America"

    Obama to the world "Foregive us our repeated sins"

    The worshipper doesn't fall far from the tree

    Kool-Aid tastes better in the shade. Don't let the sun shine in, it makes the Kool-Aid bitter.

    November 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. Robert McQuarrie

    GREAT, now we will have another job opening in the future to help with the unemployment problem, Thank you

    November 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. Dave C - NJ

    I make 80k a year and have great insurance, and I am glad to have this bill pass and pay for it as well.

    November 22, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. Moe, NY

    You are truely a breath of fresh air.....Kudos to you Sen. Bennet.

    November 22, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. Edwin

    Bold words. It is good to have someone in the Senate who votes based on what he feels is right rather than what keeps his job.

    If he felt the opposite way I would not be so happy, but I would be just as impressed.

    November 22, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. Paul

    Senator Bennet will deserve to be re-elected and I strongly hope he will for his support to make this bill the law. It is time for America to not-discriminate using access to Health Care amongst groups of its peoples. Wonderful time for a good Senator to follow this goal and make it happen. This new Health Care will rank right up there on a scale with other great positive steps for this nation, perhaps as inportant even as the 1-st Constitutional Ammendant in some ways, because without one's health, speech is somewhat secondary!

    November 22, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. robert h zendarski

    nether party has any thing to be proud of this bill could bring down this country and our sen and cong. still vote on party lines what is the matter with them our sons and husbans are fighting two wars and this is what we get from our gov.

    November 22, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Shek

    Way to go boy. We need more demacrats like you who can say what they want to say.

    November 22, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. Michael

    jeninCO, a senator doesn't have a district. It is a state -wide office. That and your comment about the "great Ronald Reagan" are clear indications you need to do some research.

    November 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. gavin

    The government will never do a thing about the pharmaceutical companies..They are making too much back door money off of them....Why do you think natural medicines aren't allowed to be used!

    November 22, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Baby Ray Ray

    That piece of garbage needs to lose his job

    November 22, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. Chris

    Why can't these people listen to the American taxpayers? We do not want to continue paying for free healthcare for those people who are on welfare. We want our government to get these leeches off the payroll.

    November 22, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. Donald Johnson

    I think the Republicans are playing in their best interest way too much. They are the worthless portion of congress right now, not giving any benefical input and asking for Americans to take another tax break.

    The American people have been taking taxes breaks and putting ourselves further in debt since the Reagan Era. How is it possible to cut taxes and then go further in debt. That is the Republican plan. For them, it has only spiraled this country down the hole.

    To Republicans, do something productive in Senate and stop blocking anything that is fundamentally flawed to you but nessesary for all Americans. I am so tired of politicans caring about the 1% and we Americans being too stupid to realize that is who is feeding us this bs (ie Rupert Murdoch). I aplaud this man for his stand. It is more important to do what is right than let this country truly fall to special interest.

    November 22, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. Daniel

    You are displaying courage and intelligence. May you win the 2010 election. Congress needs more people like you... not beholding to corporate interests but the interest of the people. You are no corporate stooge.

    November 22, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. jkm

    Dave in NJ - Kiss your good health insurance goodbye and await for the rationing of health care with increased cost as a replacement.

    Reap what you sew!

    November 22, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. CommonSenseTexan

    To all who of the misconception that the bill does not address tort reform, it does and does so in great detail. CNN has made available for download al 2,074 pages of the proposed bill, perhaps we should read it for ourselves rather than just spouting off talking points from both sides.

    I am a Democrat who doesn't favor the public option, but I am in favor of the expansion of Medicaide, and non-profit cooperatives. I also favor government subsidies for the creationf Health Savings Accounts. HSA's would provide funds for routine office visits, and minor emergency care, and ease overcrowding in emergency rooms.

    As of now the proceedural vote was to bring the bill to the floor for debate nothing more. It will change substantially by the time it passes, and will include things that both sides want. Not every Republican voter is against the bill, although the media would have you believe otherwise. We must end the bitter devisiveness that is polarizing our political system. If we don't it will only render both parties ineffective.

    November 22, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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