Chattanooga Times Free Press: U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander sees med 'bomb'

Posted on April 15, 2012

Tennessee's fine U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is a realist not an alarmist. So when he rings an "alarm," we'd better pay attention.

Sen. Alexander says he fears the current Health Care Law is a "ticking time bomb."

He said: "Millions of Americans, because of the health care law, are going to lose their employer-sponsored insurance and millions of Americans are not going to have as many jobs because of the costs imposed on businesses."

Well, you can see why the senator is issuing a warning.

Sen. Alexander explained: "I remember during the debate two years ago, I suggested to our colleagues on the other side of the aisle who were supporting the health care law -- which I thought was an historic mistake because it expanded a health care delivery system we already knew was too expensive -- instead of taking steps to reduce it.

"I suggested to them that they ought to go home and run for governor if they voted for it and see whether they can implement it over an eight-year period of time."

Sen. Alexander explained his concern: "The health care law mandates that the states spend more money on Medicaid, and, as a result, the state cuts the money it is spending for the University of Tennessee or Nebraska or North Dakota.

"In order to keep the quality of education up, tuition goes up. So students are paying more for tuition and they are paying more for interest on their student loans directly because of the health care law."

Sen. Alexander continued: "Now we are at a point where, because of the health care law, we are going to add 25.9 million more Americans onto Medicaid ....

"What most people do not realize is the effect this has on higher education and student tuition. I hear a lot of talk about, 'Let's see if we can lower student tuition.' One way we can lower it is: Not take money from student loans and spend it to pay for the health care bill.

"Most people are not aware that the federal government took $8.7 billion in so-called profits it earns when it borrows money at 2.8 percent and loans it to students at 6.8 percent -- the government took that money and spent it to pay for the health care bill."

Does that sound complicated? Fortunately, Sen. Alexander understands the problem.

Shouldn't we pay some attention -- before a "ticking time bomb" goes off?

Well, you see why the senator is concerned. Are you?