Alexander: Dems face 'political wipeout' if they push 'act of political arrogance'
- From: jose el fontanero <josefsoplar@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2010 12:11:41 -0700 (PDT)
Alexander: Dems face 'political wipeout' if they push 'act of
By Walter Alarkon - 03/14/10 11:50 AM ET
Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) said
Democrats face a "political wipeout" if they pass the healthcare bill.
"I think it's a political kamikaze mission to insist on this,"
Alexander said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday.
Alexander said passage of the bill would be "an act of political
arrogance" that Americans haven't seen since Watergate. He predicted
"an instant spontaneous campaign to repeal" the bill and that its
passage would "change the leadership in this country."
Republicans on several Sunday talk shows said the healthcare bill will
be a major issue in the congressional elections this November. They
pointed to polls showing more Americans against the bill than for it.
According to the Pollster.com average of surveys, 48 percent oppose
the bill while 44 percent support it.
"If they pass this thing, I think they lose the House of
Representatives this fall," said Karl Rove, the former adviser to
President George W. Bush, on Fox.
"I think we have a chance at winning Republican control of the House,"
Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on CNN. "It's a steep climb
but it's doable."
Democrats and the Obama administration said the healthcare bill, which
will expand coverage to 31 million Americans and block insurance
companies from refusing to cover people with pre-existing conditions,
is needed to rein in skyrocketing healthcare costs.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said lawmakers who back the
bill will pass it because it's the right policy, not out of political
"We've got to get a hold of this problem; we've got to do something
about the spending," he said on CBS' Face the Nation.
On CNN, White House senior adviser David Axelrod criticized
Republicans for saying Democrats would take a beating in midterm
elections if they force the bill through.
"Mitch McConnell, John Boehner have been generous in giving advice to
Democrats about how careless this vote is," Axelrod said wryly.
The independent Congressional Budget Office predicts the bill would
cost nearly $900 billion but would be fully paid for and cut deficits
by more than $100 billion over the next decade.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said the bill was necessary to
rein in insurance premiums and health insurers' unpopular practices.
She attacked the group representing insurers, America's Health
Insurance Plans (AHIP), for "carpet-bombing" the Democratic healthcare
proposals with critical television advertisements.
AHIP President Karen Ignagni called Democratic attacks on insurers a
"vilification campaign" that distracts from ways to reduce costs.
Ignagni argued that soaring premiums are being driven not by insurance
policies but by the underlying cost of healthcare and a bad economy
causing people to drop coverage, which increases costs for others.
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