Alexander Points to Massachusetts Election For Pause On Healthcare Overhaul

Posted on January 20, 2010

Republicans in Congress, including Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander, are using Tuesday’s G.O.P. win in Massachusetts to call for a redo on the debate over healthcare.

Alexander says the election should give Democrats pause. As a member of his party’s leadership, Alexander is among those setting strategy for the GOP.

Right before the holiday recess Democrats passed health reform in the Senate without any G.O.P. supporters. That bill still has to be reconciled with a House versio, but Alexander says Democrats should take a lesson on health reform from Tuesday’s special election.

“Well it means we ought to stop. Restart the debate [and] set a clear goal.”

Alexander claims his party has been locked out of the reform debate.

“173 times in the Congressional record last year Republican senators stood up and said lets start over and here are the first six steps towards reducing costs. They were all rejected, but that’s the way we should work.”

Alexander is pushing for tort reform and combating fraud, among other items. Democrats say they’ll wait for the new Republican to be seated before voting again. But it’s unclear how much input they’ll be taking from Republicans like Alexander.