Alexander Disappointed by Democrats Blocking Vote to Provide Better Healthcare for Tennessee Women and Babies

Posted on May 8, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) tonight expressed disappointment after Senate Democrats again blocked Republican attempts to provide a solution to the medical liability crisis. This evening, the Senate voted on a procedural motion that required 60 votes to begin debate – and eventually vote – on the Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies Access to Care Act (S. 23), which protects access to care for mothers and babies by providing medical liability reform for obstetric and gynecological care. The vote, an attempt to end a Democratic filibuster, failed by a margin of 49 to 44 with all Democrats present voting against. Following the vote, Alexander said: “I’m disappointed that Senate Democrats would block a vote on legislation that provides better healthcare for mothers and babies. “In 45 of Tennessee’s 95 counties, pregnant mothers have to drive for miles to get prenatal healthcare and to deliver their babies. In 15 of those counties, pregnant mothers have no access to any prenatal care whatsoever. “It is clear that we are in a medical crisis, and this legislation would help us get out of the crisis. For years now, we have offered solutions but have not had the votes to enact them. Until Congress passes legislation, the well-being of Tennessee mothers and babies is at risk.” In a 48-42 vote, Senate Democrats also blocked a motion to proceed on the Medical Care Access Protection Act of 2006 (S. 22), a comprehensive medical liability reform bill.