Analysis: Seniors' fears key part of health debate Published Saturday September 26th, 2009

Beware the wrath of the nation's seniors.

It's a lesson both political parties have learned the hard way about the potent over-65 voting bloc, and it's one that Republicans are working to turn to their advantage in the high-stakes fight over President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Democrats' ability to push through a health overhaul along the lines of what Obama has called for will depend in large part on their capacity to convince seniors that it's a good deal for them.

"Democrats have spent the past 40 years protecting America's seniors," protested Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., as his staff peppered reporters with examples of past GOP votes that Democrats say hurt the elderly. "The other side's insistence on spreading fear above all else is what will truly hurt our seniors."