Alexander Says Americans’ Insurance Premiums Will Go Up Under Baucus Plan

Posted on September 23, 2009

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate regarding Senate Committee on Finance Chairman Max Baucus’s (D-Mont.) health care bill, which is being marked up this week in committee: • “Premiums will go up under the Baucus bill. Americans will pay more, not less, for their health insurance than they do today. The Congressional Budget Office said, ‘Under current law, premiums on employment-based plans would not include the effect of the annual fees imposed on the proposal on manufacturers and importers of brand name drugs and medical devices, on health insurance providers and on clinical laboratories.’ These are new taxes . . . the premiums under the new bill, the new exchange, would be higher than what you’re paying today.” • “I want health care reform, but I don’t want more debt, more taxes, and higher premium costs for people who can’t afford their insurance policies now. Yet the proposals we’ve seen from the other side of the aisle do just that. The focus of health care reform should be about one thing: reducing cost. Reducing costs to individuals and small businesses who are paying for health care and reducing the cost to our government, which is the responsibility of every single one of us taxpayers in this country.” • “We’ve gotten into the habit around here of coming up with 1,000-page bills that senators and congressmen don’t read, so the American people are saying to us, ‘At least read the bill.’ And they’re saying to us, ‘Second, at least know what it costs.’” • “Dumping another 15 million low-income Americans into Medicaid is not health care reform. Doctors and providers are only reimbursed about 61 or 62 percent of their cost for providing services to Medicaid patients. Forty percent of doctors won’t see Medicaid patients. Dumping a low-income American into the Medicaid program is like giving them a bus ticket to a bus line that only runs 60 percent of the time. It’s not health care reform.”