Chattanoogan: Corker, Alexander Vote To Repeal Health Care Law; But Effort Fails

Posted on February 2, 2011

Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander on Wednesday were among those voting in favor of Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) amendment to repeal the health care law. However, the effort failed 51-47.

Senator Corker said, “There is not a thinking person in Washington who believes this health care law will work. Our state and our country would be best served by repealing it and replacing it with sound policy, and I was proud to vote in favor of repeal today.

“It looks to me like there is a very strong chance the Supreme Court could rule this law unconstitutional, and my sense is we may be back at the drawing board doing something that is very much different as it relates to health care reform. And I think that is a good thing.”

Senator Corker said he has been a steadfast opponent of the health care law, having cosponsored or supported every effort to repeal it, including specific provisions such as a burdensome 1099 reporting requirement on small businesses and an orphan drug price increase on children’s hospitals. Last November, Senator Corker, along with 32 other Republican senators, signed onto a legal brief filed in the Florida case arguing the law’s individual mandate is unconstitutional. In the 112th Congress, he is an original cosponsor of Senator Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) health care repeal legislation and Senator Mike Johann’s (R-Neb.) bill to strike the 1099 requirement.

Senator Alexander said he had warned during the Senate health care debate that the bill would prove to be “an historic mistake.”

Senator Alexander said of his vote today: “Senate Republicans promised the American people we’d vote to repeal the health care law and then work to replace it with common-sense reforms that lower health care costs so more Americans can afford to buy health insurance.”

Earlier today, Senator Alexander discussed the Senate’s vote to repeal the law on Fox News, noting that even though Republicans lost the Senate vote on the health care bill, “We won the argument: what we were saying was that if we pass this law, premiums are going up, the debt is going up, people are going to lose their insurance – and that’s actually happened.”