March 25th, 2010
06:46 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Final Health Vote & Scary Politics

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

The final vote on health care reform came just moments ago. The House approved "fixes" to the legislation by a vote of 220 to 207.

The measure returned to the House tonight after the Senate made two minor changes involving student loan funding, but those changes did not impact the law Pres. Obama signed into law on Tuesday.

The reconciliation bill now goes to Pres. Obama for his signature.

The President focused on health care reform in a speech today.

"This is the reform that some folks in Washington are still hollering about, still shouting about. Now that they passed it, now that we passed it they're already promising to repeal it. They're actually going to run on a platform of repeal in November, you've been hearing that. And my attitude is: go for it!," Mr. Obama told the crowd at the University of Iowa.

That's not the only tough talk on the subject. There are also reports of death threats and vandalism - a vast majority targeting Democrats.

Some new developments involving Dems:

– Minnesota Rep. Betty McCollum said she received an opened condom with a vulgar message.

– New York Rep. Anthony Weiner's district office became a crime scene after someone sent an envelope containing white powder and a threatening note.

– The FBI joined an investigation of threats to New York Rep. Louise Slaughter, who had a brick thrown through her district office and a voicemail that she says mentioned "well-trained snipers."

But today two Republicans also reported trouble. GOP Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida released a statement saying she received a voicemail from an unidentified person stating that people "are going to make sure that this b-- does not live to see her next term." Meantime, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor said someone fired a bullet through a window at his old campaign office in Richmond, Virginia. Cantor then accused Democrats of using the threats for political gain. We're keeping them honest.

We'll also wrap up our special series "Kids in Peril: Obesity in America" with a big 360 interview with celebrity chef and best-selling author Jamie Oliver. He's on a special mission to make sure children eat healthy foods. See what he discovered and what you can do to help your children.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. beth

    I wish the bill was more like the original concept.I am a cancer survivor with insurance. My son-in-law is a cancer survivor without insurance. I have seen both sides. He has medical debt that he is still paying on and its been 10 years. This would have helped him so much more if Hillary had been able to push this through back when Bill was in office. Thank god and our presidents tough love that got it passed this time.

    March 26, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  2. Steve

    Please don't forget that the "individual mandate" was a Republican idea. Yes. Mitt Romney wrote it into law in Mass. McCain gave a speech about it a few years ago.

    And (drumroll please), in 1993, both Grassley and Hatch wrote a health reform bill that included an INDIVIDUAL MANDATE. Go figure.

    Perhaps the Tea Party crowd should spit on them, too.

    March 26, 2010 at 7:36 am |
  3. Steve

    Just wanted to clear something up. I'm sure it has been cleared up, but I haven't seen enough about it.

    Many believe that the Republican "amendments" offered for the reconciliation bill were legitimate. Most of us know they were offered only to stall health reform.

    Here's proof. Jim DeMint was quoted as saying, "I had 50 amendments, I still have them in my back pocket, but I’ll probably only offer two or three."

    If his 50 amendments were so near and dear to him, and were legitimate, why did he choose to only offer "two or three" of them? Answer: They were not legitimate amendments in the first place.


    March 26, 2010 at 7:33 am |
  4. Dianne Hardman

    What happened to the presidential candidate, Obama who said that he wanted to UNITE our country?

    His words in yesterday's speech about "bring it on" only puts fire to violence and division of our great country.

    If he were a true leader, he would condemn violent acts and focus on cooling this fire encouraging ALL politicians and All people to to come together.

    March 26, 2010 at 5:51 am |
  5. maryann guynn

    All these years the republican party has been searching for a word that defines them, the word is "THUGS". I once thought that the RNC's greatest fault was that they considered intelligence a liability but now realize it's hate and fearmongering. I've always believed that religious extremists and people that believe that the end always justifies the means are the greatest threat to any democracy, starting with the 2000 "election' the republican party has confirmed this.

    March 26, 2010 at 5:34 am |
  6. Gloria

    I am a retired RN. I worked for many years in the Public Health System
    in Florida. The corruption I saw from giving healthcare to illegal
    aliens, those with fake green cards is staggering. California is broke
    from giving free healthcare to every Tom, Dick and Harry that crosses
    the border. So much so that now Americans like myself (I turn 65 in May)
    are being robbed of our SS and Medicare. The government does
    nothing to stop the plundering of our governmnent healthcare system.
    Oh yes, I forgot. Take away the healthcare for older Americans. Excuse,
    charity begins at home. Feed your own first – then worry about the
    rest of the world. Better yet, let Mexico and every other nation on earth take care of their own for a change. Then if we have any extra.. Ha Ha..
    we can help others, but take care of Americans first.

    March 26, 2010 at 4:33 am |
  7. Gloria

    For the life of me I can't understand the Democratic party's shock at
    the threats they have received following the passing of the HealthCare
    bill. Don't they get it? America is angry. People have tried being peaceful
    ie the Tea Party debates, they spoke with their elected officials face to face at local town hall meetings, they have called their elected officials,
    they have emailed their opinions and guess what? No one is listening!
    I am against violence, but I am also against tyranny and dictatorship.
    How can such so-called intelligent people be deaf, dumb, and blind?
    America is about to explode. Our people cannot take anymore stress!

    March 26, 2010 at 4:26 am |
  8. Kim Whitehead

    What in the world has happened to the civility of our people? I'm not in favor of certain aspects of the health care bill, however, am extremely dismayed by how some of our citizens are reacting. We are home of the free and the brave and our 1st Amendment rights allow us to speak out. However, if we are ever to move forward as a nation we need to be civil to one another, allow one another to speak their opinion, but keep it civil and peaceful. I beg the opponents of the health care bill to rise above it all! Remember, we do have elections!

    March 26, 2010 at 2:24 am |
  9. Ben Giltz

    Its too bad that hatred and violence have to be manifested from trying to improve the daily lives of the american people. Healthcare reform is something that alot of us have been waiting for most of our lives. I have always envied Canada's healthcare, even Great Britain's healthcare, and that we should have had something similar to it because we are the greatest country in the world. The repubs started this hatred campaign last summer with the death camps, and other lies coming from the mouths of those like Palin, McCain, Boehner, etc. It was like a snowball rolling down that hill, growing bigger and bigger. And lets face it, there are alot of "not so bright" citizens in this country that take it seriously. And I am being very nice here. I hear the nasty comments from the rednecks that I work with, and what they would do if they could.
    No one really understands the bill yet, I believe that when it gets started and people start seeing benefits, it will settle down. Or at least I hope so.

    March 26, 2010 at 2:22 am |
  10. Rick Deacon

    I really hope this works ! I no i can use some health care that's cheep the last time i seen a doctor was when i was 23 years old i'm now 54 years old with no health benafits of any kind so i really hope this helps people like my self !

    March 26, 2010 at 1:17 am |
  11. Millie

    Those suffering without healthcare and at the whim of deceitful, greedy health insurance company tactics to appease their shareholder's pockets will no longer be denied or robbed of what is rightfully theirs.

    March 26, 2010 at 1:10 am |
  12. Rocky

    With so many Americans up in arms over the Health Care Reform and so many democrats claiming they fear for their safety, I was surprised to see such arrogance from President Obama today when he urged the Republicans to “bring it on”. Perhaps as the leader of this great nation he should make an effort to disarm these foolish acts of violence. Instead, I feel that he is instigating. The people behind the senseless threats are angry. They feel that the have been defeated. I would like to see a man of his stature show some empathy for those on the losing end of this historical vote instead of taunting them.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:29 am |
  13. Diana

    Just wanted to say that it is with great relief that the health care bill was passed. My biggest fear was that abortion would be funded by government.

    I am glad to say that abortion will not be included in the bill (in expecton for rape, incest, etc.)
    The goverment should know better than to mix goverment with religion.

    As a first amendment right, an american taxpayer, especially a religious tax payer should NEVER be forced to pay taxes to fund a woman's personal and deliberate decision to an abortion.

    Abortion goes against many religions.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:26 am |
  14. debinaz

    i really dont believe all the hype from the democrats...what is someone in the progressive party upset with some of their own ? the tea party folks are everyday people, not like the thugs in dc. the progessives are going to lose in nov when the votes are counted!!! no more progessives in az. they just dont get it. they represent the will of the people not their own agenda..we hired them and now they will be fired

    March 26, 2010 at 12:11 am |
  15. J.V.Hodgson

    Fear mongering. I think a poll would show the majority of Americans see that as a mainly Republican tactic in politics.
    Mr Cantor knows as well as the police it was not fired directly at his office
    However enough of that:-
    Both parties Senate and House leaders and majority and minority plus DNC chairman and RNC chairman should have a press conference with the president reading a pre aprroved statement that condems both verbal abuse and Vandalism againts elected representives of any party, and especially harrassment of thier families
    Nothing excuses vulgar abuse, vandalism, violence, harrasment for political ends at least not in a democracy.
    Our Military are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan to stop those kinds of actions for political or religious ends.
    Use the law and the constitution to fight Health care legislation if you wish, but do stop talking about repeal ( even if the republicans gain seats in mid terms) until after Obama is out of office. The current opposition cannot muster the 2/3rds House and Senate majority to override a Presidential veto... grow up and be realistic, even after the mid terms.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:09 am |
  16. Carol M.

    Well, the Republicans, as usual, have gone to the tactics that they jknow best – fear, hatred, and terrorism. What the American people need to know is that health care for everyone is not scary. It is necessary. Why do the Republicans really fear this legislation? The reason is because they will lose the financial backing of the drug companies and insurance companies.....period!

    March 26, 2010 at 12:07 am |
  17. EmmaLee

    Both sides are using this to gain political capital. As CNN has pointed out several times, the Dems are sending out fundraising letters in response to the attacks, buthas yet to mention Randy Neugebauer, the Republican who shouted "baby killer," who is also using his notoriety to raise funds. Both sides need to scale back the rhetoric before tragedy happens.

    March 25, 2010 at 11:51 pm |
  18. C

    It is sooo hypocritical of the democrat politicians about cooling down the angry rhetoric about nationalized health care changes. President Obama has used extremely inflammatory words against bank CEO's, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies inciting hate mails, dead threats against these people, who are more useful than all the democrats combined!
    Nancy Pelosi has defamed president Bush out of sheer spite, immaturely calling him liars in public, fanning the fire torch by crazy loons to threaten our former president. She certainly did not come out and tried to control her own speech for the sake of peace! What a despicable hypocrite. Since the government is snaking its serpent arms into our everyday lives, is Pelosi now going to try to control our freedom of speech as well by another law and amendment????? I wouldn't doubt it.

    March 25, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
  19. Lin

    Sorry CNN, but by showing the video last night of the wing nut calling for people to clean their guns and break the windows of Congressional offices doesn't help. These racist, homophobic, and hate-filled terrorists love the attention and one will only try to outdo the other for their 15 minutes of fame.
    Republican and Democrat Congressional leaders need to call a press conference, equally condemn these people, and say enough is enough. And they should also publicly chastise ANY member of Congress, party official, or public leader who continues to provoke these homeland terrorists, including Palin.

    March 25, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
  20. Gonzarelli

    I am sad today and happy I'm no longer a republican! It is sickening to see the behavior spurred on by the leader of the republican Party. Mr. boehner you ought to be ashamed of yourself! And, Mr. cantor well...I knew you were full of poop from the beginning and lying to us–the American public is much worse!

    Please behave maturely and do what you were elected to do–serve the people!

    March 25, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
  21. cruzer

    i have been hearing of death threats to the congress members, and i must say i am angry about how these so called americans are acting. i am sorry but it is not that bad, quick acting like children and start acting like adults. i think these people are just stupid and they need to leave american if they can't act right, americans don't need you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I only hope the FBI starts punishing these people under the federal law!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 11:25 pm |
  22. Rocky

    While I am not an advocate of violence I believe these people feel they must act out in order to be heard. It seems that to this point no one has listened to the people. The arrogance of the democrats through out this entire process has played a role in the instigation of this foolish behavior.

    March 25, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
  23. jesse

    i have been following this bill from the start and this is unconstitutional the government should not have the right to tell you what to buy. I dont think its right but ,you shouldn’t us violence, to prove your point.

    March 25, 2010 at 11:22 pm |
  24. Gonzarelli

    Anderson, and colleagues;

    It is a historic event to see how the President's promise has come to life. Yes! The bill is not perfect but it will certainly keep the insurance companies from their continued thievery of the American public.
    Their profits are rising and their care coverage diminishing! Does this make any sense to any reasonable; sensible American?

    As for the scary politics of the republican ought Mr. Boehner to be ashamed of himself! How sad really; we have leaders in our government who will stoop so low and behave so animalistic! Shame on you! Mr. Cantor; as well for lying to the American public! I knew from the beginning you were full of poop!

    Sad! Very sad!

    March 25, 2010 at 11:22 pm |
  25. elisa b

    the fact that people are reacting with violence on both sides shows me that people are fully for one side and dont listen or attempt to understand the other. I am not for the health care take over, but i would never make a threat or insite violence, people are mad and they need to show how mad they are come november. heres something to ponder: Why as a nation are we so fixated on being sick? why do we focus and assume that we are all going to have some major illness? Why not "change the way we eat , lets change the way we treat each other cuz our old way wasn't working , so its on us to do what we gotta do to survive" the late, great TuPac said that. I think he had a point. Stand strong my fellow Americans.

    March 25, 2010 at 11:22 pm |
  26. Elad

    America beware – extreme language will lead to extreme actions. I have seen this before. Living in Israel during the 90s I witnessed the escalation in rhetoric that built up to the assassination of PM Rabin. Words kill – slowly, sneakily they hit their target. Having been through that before, I have to say it out load. For all those use extreme language such as 'baby killer,' 'America reload,' 'death panels' etc you are responsible for violence.

    March 25, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
  27. JD

    Anderson! When people feel helpless they result to some sort of violence. Obama and democrates put them selves in this position when they did not listen to the american people. The democrates to an errogant stance. I am a democrate and I feel helpless, cause I do not agree with the health plan. But I will not get violent about it, i just will not vote for the democrate in my state.

    March 25, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
  28. Mary

    There is no need for violence...that's just stupid. Like last week in Washington when they arrested some anti war protesters. Violence in anti war demonstrations seems to be more common, but we don't want anyone else to start emulating that bad behavior.

    March 25, 2010 at 11:09 pm |
  29. Rachel

    This is both disappointing and terrifying! Republicans have decided to allow the 'right wing fringe' to be their mouth piece. As a result, are they prepared to also accept responsibility for the actions of the 'fringe?' They have flamed these fires and have therefore, contributed to the violent backlash. And they really think they're winning their way back to the majority????

    March 25, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  30. jim


    Scary politics from both sides is intolerable, but when you have Republican members of both houses of congress instigating and egging protestors from the balcony of the Capitol is unacceptable.
    Also, within the House of representatives jeering by unhappy citizens was condoned by House Republican. They applauded their behavior.
    These Republicans should be reprimanded.

    March 25, 2010 at 11:00 pm |
  31. Vickey

    I just do not understand why hatred and violence will solve anything. Pray for our country and people

    March 25, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  32. jim

    scary politics from both sides is intolerable, but when you have republican members of both houses of congress instigating and egging protestors, cheering on protestors within the house while in session.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  33. Joan A Canada

    I was just stunned when I heard the reports on CNN about the violence and threats due to the Health Care Bill! Or I'm assuming it was due to that! I agree that there are better ways of dealing with disagreements.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  34. rachelle marion

    All republican leaders need to immediately disavow the behavior of all groups acting in their name who are making either written or implied threats. This is NOT the way politics in this country is supposed to work. I am personally disgusted with their rhetoric and their behavior.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  35. Ann-Virginia

    There is no excuse for behavior like this.We will know who is behind all of this hate when the FBI finishes it's investigation.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  36. DAKOTA

    The Republicans and the uber right have been using inflammatory rhetoric ever since the Presidential campaign started. Add to that: the horrible monologues by Rush Limbaugh, Palin's hyperbole re: death panels and her deliberate lying, Boehner's screaming, Joe Wilson's rudeness toward his Commander in Chief, the inaccurate use of the words socialist/socialism, the shouting of the N word at congressmen, etc.

    None, I repeat NONE, of the hyperbole or ugliness has come from the Democrats and I challenge anyone to produce a tape of such.

    If you look at history, you will see that all of the horror, inquisitions, war, torture, supression has come from the far right.

    The Republicans need to take responsibility for their rhetoric which has fanned some Americans into full blown hate and hateful acts. The Republicans alone, are responsible.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  37. Jessica

    I am glad the health care bill got approve. For all those cancer people who have spend money and lost insurance due to their sickness.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  38. Julie

    Wow, imagine if everyone who was upset by the chicanery of the Bush administration acted like a spoiled toddler who didn't get his way, threatening to harm policymakers. We would have had 8 years of threats against our politicians.

    Instead, we remained rational and waited it out.

    This is a new world and we're not going to be intimidated into giving up our rights. Health care is a right. To those who didn't get "their way", they need to grow up and deal with it.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  39. philip fenner

    im a democract and this bill will save lives. the peolpe who threatening the politicians are wrong no matter who are flaming the fires. these wingnuts need to stop before people get hurt.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  40. Lydia in Minneapolis

    My Congressman, Rep.Keith Ellison (D-MN) also got death threats (which had already happened when he was sworn in as the first Muslim Congressman). IF death threats and vandalism was coming from the Left and aimed at Republicans, the perpetrators would be called TERRORISTS–and you can bet the Republicans would DEMAND threats against them be taken very seriously!!! Republians have fanned hatred, incited Tea Party racists and right-wing homophobes for THEIR political gain for some time. Palin's riflt-targets and using a term "Dead man" for voting for a bill are INCITEMENT, like yelling "Fire!" ina theatre. IIt adds INSULT to injury that the Republicans accuse Democrats of "politics" when they simply EXPOSE THE THREATS THEY'VE GOTTEN. Bush & the Republithugs NEVER faced this sort of violence when they had power for 8 years–and believe me progressives hated their policies.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  41. jerry

    Yeah. We need to replace this law but not by violence. Dont give them a reason to make you look bad. It reflects on the rest of the people who are truly scared about the door this mandate opens.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  42. fanika Hutton

    Its just ridiculous. We need to stand up and demand that these people do their job.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  43. Gary

    I have lost all respect for the Republican party. Their leadership is non-existent and they have aligned themselves with extremists. Is this now the base of the Republican party? How far they have fallen from the days of Regan.

    If the Democrats can remain united, they will have nothing to worry about in November.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  44. Deb

    This hatred has brewed since Sarah Palin became the media star. Why does the media keep her alive on TV? If the media would have let her fade away like any other defeated VP candidate, maybe, we would not be hearing all this nonsense of hatred. PLEASE LET HER FADE AWAY IN ALASKA!!!! Do us peaceful people a hugh favor. She was a nobody and the media won't let go of her. She really is not interesting! Just a person full of racism and hatred and stirs up trouble everywhere she is PAID to speak. Don't you think she has made enough money in a lifetime from her hate speeches? If she is off of TV I believe she will fade away. Let her wear her white pointed hat and white robe and speak privately to the rest of the racist folks out there, but don't advertise any of it on tv.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  45. guypaul

    Awesome reporting

    March 25, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  46. Amy

    I'm not a Republican or a Democrat I'm an American who votes on the issues. This one has me repulsed. The Republican's have been shouting hate and fear mongering slogans since before the Presidential Election was even decided. They can't now stick their heads in the sand or try and point fingers back at the Democrats.
    – Sarah Palin has a map of the US with cross hairs on various states where Republicans want to targed incumbent Democrats. It was pretty clear she didn't have much common sense the further her time on the national stage went but doesn't anyone in the Republican party have the common sense to simply declare that people have become far to incited and must act rationally before we have actual bloodshed. Also don't these idiiots who are clearly enemies of true democracy aware that these threats are crimes in most cases? Sadly even if they get rounded up, those who created their frenzied actions with words will simply keep up the same finger pointing and nonsensical fear mongering.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
  47. Annie Kate

    The behavior of those against the health care reform only discredit themselves by their vandalism and threats. Having what passed today explained as far as impact to the average citizen tonight will be great – I'm looking forward to the show.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  48. Angela Savage Austin

    Why do we excuse the behavior of people who live and breathe hatred? These hate group have camps where they train even children for a revolution and everyone knows of them. This behavior will be an excuse for someone to attempt harm to our President. This is very serious and the media, republicans and angry disappointed citizens should stop sugar coating this. Decent people who are angry or disappointed with their government do not act like this. Sometime is mentally and emotionally insane about their behavior...allways was....and for sure...nothing has changed. God have mercy on us all.

    March 25, 2010 at 9:59 pm |