Alexander Statement on Reports of Medicare and Medicaid Expansion

Says Tennesseans would face “huge increases in state taxes, large college tuition hikes, or both.”

Posted on December 8, 2009

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today issued the following statement on reports that Senate Democrats are attempting to massively expand Medicare and Medicaid programs: “There are frightful rumors that instead of creating a new government-run plan, the Democrats will simply add millions more Americans to two existing government-run programs: Medicare and Medicaid. “How could we possibly add up to 34 million more Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 to Medicare at the same time we’re cutting a trillion dollars out of that program which, according to its trustees, is scheduled to go broke in five years? “And, how could we even consider dumping millions more low-income Americans into state Medicaid programs when 50 percent of doctors already won’t see new Medicaid patients? On top of that, Congress is sending a huge bill for this to state governments already struggling with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. In Tennessee, Governor Bredesen has already told us that a Medicaid expansion of this size would cost about $1.4 billion over five years. As a former governor, I believe with certainty that this would mean huge increases in state taxes, large college tuition hikes – or both.”