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. Just wondering

    Does anyone else find it the least bit suspicious that the insurance companies actually endorse the health care bill? Just food for thought.

    November 22, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. Shannon

    When President Obama was running, he said no mandates, this bill has mandates. It cuts medicare, and taxes those of us who have health care. It taxes healthcare procedures and healthcare items such as wheelchairs. This bill will be paid for by backdoor taxes on the middle class, the unions know this so they don't support it.

    We need to reform parts of healthcare, pre existing conditions, tort reform, waste and fraud, we need competition across state lines, and yes, we need a program to insure those without insurance.

    This complete take over where we punish women with limits on abortion rights, where we buy votes of one Senator for 100 million dollars for her state, where we lie to the American people over and over again, is not what the majority of Americans want. I have already told my Senators, no limits on women's healthcare, no new taxes, and no bribes to specific senators, tell your senators what you don't like. Stop it before it's to late.

    November 22, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. Jeff

    Senator Bennet knows that he is going to lose the election next year and is simply making all the points he can with the DNC. If he plays his cards right, he may even get an appointment from the Obama Administration out of this... Wake Up Colorado, this was never about representing you..

    November 22, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. Hendrik

    I love these worms saying that because polls showing more constituents are against something than support it, you should vote that way. If this were the case, we only need a machine and not a person with his own thought process.

    A senator has a responsibility to his/her constituents AND to the nation. He uses his best thinking to arrive at a reasoned conclusion.

    You will NEVER see a Republican senator or other politician think for themselves.

    Rats they are.

    November 22, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. haren

    who is arrogant senator McConnell and his republican colleague to block even health care debate or Democrats and this president who is trying to REBUILD this country in health care,energy, financial regulation, education etc.
    What they did in last 8 years, why they did not tackle this issue if they had better idea for health care?
    Answer is they never wanted to reform health care and hurt their financier insurance co.

    November 22, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. mike.texas

    Support our troops and citizens,healthcare saves lives war dosent and we spend untold amounts for that .Enough hypocracy if you are pro-life, healthcare saves lives.

    November 22, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. jkm

    1. If universal health care was so awesome, then tell me why the Canadians who can afford to cross over to the US to get their health care come here in droves!

    2. Since Massachusetts instituted their 100% health care, the state is now broke and is already rationing care with increasing premiums. Wow, that sounds terrific!

    3. California and all the democratic dorks are now reaping what they have sewn for the last 30 years of ridiculous bill passing and spending. Your state is BROKE!

    November 22, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    I would like to encourage Sen. McConnell to visit the people in the coal country of Kentucky. It appears he forgot about them, by putting his insignificant political party before real people.

    November 22, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. whaley41

    Sounds like he is not representing what the people of his district want if he is afraid of losing next term. Voting for the party, not the people. And quarterback, I worked in healthcare for a long time too and never had a problem. With your bad attitude, I can see why you think it's broken.

    November 22, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Happy To Help

    I will be happy to help you do that senator!!

    If your doing what you were elected to do, represent those that elected you, imagine how happy you could have been be a servant and representative of the people and doing a GOOD job for those you represent. NOBODY elected you to office because they wanted to hand over their way of life and prosperity to what you THOUGHT YOU should do.

    Get could pictures and see the sights while your there, I hope you enjoyed your vacation is the not sure a arrogant pompous idiot will find humble Ohio a place to return to.

    November 22, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  11. Toby Tyler

    Common arrogance amongst elected or in this case appointed officials. They fail to recognize or understand that they represent the people, not their own selfish ideological agenda. I'll be the first one to throw him out of office next year.

    November 22, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. Jacob

    You vote for a person's platform. This man whom was elected to office, ran on this exact platform. Republicans hate how the Republic is set up. This is a true profile in courage, knowing very well that one's political job is endangered by voting for what is best for the majority of American's is a page out of the playbook of Congressman Sam Houston, one of the greatest of profiles in courage of all times.

    November 22, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  13. A Citizen

    Let's see...the majority of Americans oppose health care reform as it is now being presented....yet the Democrats are attempting to ramrod it through....hmmm....yea....that makes a lot of sense. But of course they are musch smarter than, and know far more than the silly American voter does. What arrogance. By the way Kim – when will the Democrats start working to save the unborn? Perhaps those aren't lives worth saving because they are such an inconvenience.

    November 22, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  14. kotetu

    “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.

    "every piece of evidence" can only mean voters are calling you to tell you not to vote for it. If you were to vote for it in spite of voters telling you they would vote you out of office, you are NOT serving those who elected you.


    November 22, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. JW

    Not representing your constituency.

    -Qualification #1 for being a Democratic Congressman.

    November 22, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. jkm

    I am not mad at all democrats. But, I am furious at the tactics used by this regime (late night behind the table closed door voting, bribery now called "horse trading", not allowing the other party to read the bill).

    These are Ghetto tactics brought to the forefront in Washington from the backstreets of Chicago! I can't believe America stands for this!

    November 22, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. Old Fitz

    It's not majority's minority rights. Thank you senator

    November 22, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. Linda

    Good, because if you pass this, you will hopefully be on your way.

    Too bad Democrats are so in bed with their special interest/big donors. You can't even keep your promises made only months ago. You sold out the people, using our tax dollars to make private deals with the Insurance, Big Pharma, Hospitals and the like, guaranteeing no price negotiations (moronic) , guaranteeing increases, all on our back, so we can pay for a your volunteers and you get the money.

    This bill does not represent any reform. And that IS what we were supposed to get. '

    No competition, no lower prices, all just to give subsidies to low income who can cook the books and mandate we all buy at prices already guaranteed to increase. Only in idiot would think this was good.

    You may not be aware, but more people are paying attention.

    November 22, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  19. Citizen from Colorado

    I'm so proud of my newbie Colorado senator! Thank you, Senator Bennett for making the public statement that all public servants should make! Please keep saying it louder an louder so that those old, embedded senators trapped in their self interests hear you. You are setting a good example. It's about what the people need, not about the next election. The public has already expressed its opinion. The majority of people polled want insurance for all and a public option that makes private options more responsive, accountable and competitive in the market. Fat cats be gone! Up with the people who need health insurance and need to be able to afford it. That's what government is all about in the rest of the developed world.

    November 22, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. Larry, Apex, North Carolina

    We will take this guy in North Carolina any time!
    Thank you for having principles and guts!!

    November 22, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  21. Harold Trainer, USAF RET

    Senator Benett has principles. Much more than my Senator McConnell who will do anything to block a health bill or any other bill that Obama may offer. In order to pay for some of these future investments in country we need to bring our troops home now from Iraq and Afghanistan, stop supporting Israel, cut the DOD budget significantly. A third of this money goes to special non-bid contractors who are making a killing while our brave young men and women are being killed. It is a national disgrace that we have so little invested in our human resources infrastructure and physical infrastructures. Shame on Obama, congress and both Republicans and Democrats who have produced a watered down health care bill.

    November 22, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  22. Mike

    He doesnt need to worry. When he gets voted out, the crony arm of the administration has already guarenteed him a new appointment somewhere else. Mark my words. This man does not have integrity; he was bought off.

    November 22, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  23. pax

    they work for the people, not the gov. hope he loses his job and his to get food stamps. we need a strong leader, not a wimp dem. I'm not a republican by the way.

    November 22, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  24. Jim Lee

    I'm a Canadian watching your debate on this issue with great interest and respect for such a huge decision for your country. As I notice the back and forth opposing views and the hope for a split among Democrats I realize something. The Democrats are at least debating amongst themselves the best way to move forward and how to represent the interests of their constituents. Where is the honest input into a process that has to reach a positive conclusion anyway? I don't understand why there is no effort by the other party to at least frame the debate as opposed to dividing the country. I understand that for all Americans this a huge discussion and that there are solid arguments and real concerns on both sides. I just think instead of dividing a country much of the world looks up to, get in there with the Democrats and fight for your constituents interests and get this done at the same time.

    November 22, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. Nicole

    Now that's what I've been waiting to hear for a long, long time. Bravery and committment are in short supply in politics especially if being so might cost the candidate their job. I'll gladly contribute to your re-election funds Senator. And I live in Kentucky!

    November 22, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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