Alexander Says Senate Health Bill “Will Prove to Be an Historic Mistake”

Says Medicaid expansion and “sweetheart deals” will “force Tennessee tax increases, damage higher education—or both”

Posted on December 24, 2009

SRC ChairmanWASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today issued the following statement on Senate passage of the Reid health care bill:

“The Senate health bill will prove to be an historic mistake if this or anything like it is ultimately signed by the president. Congress set out to reduce health care costs to Americans and Democrats have managed to do the exact opposite. Their written-in-secret bill will increase health insurance premiums, raise taxes, cut Medicare and dump millions of Americans into Medicaid. For Tennessee, Medicaid’s expansion and the bill’s ‘sweetheart deals’ would cost our state more than $750 million over five years when fully implemented, forcing tax increases or damaging higher education—or both.

“Instead, we should start over and move step-by-step to reduce health care costs using the steps that Republicans have repeatedly proposed: let small businesses pool resources for health insurance; allow purchasing of health insurance across state lines; end junk lawsuits against doctors; eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse; expand health savings accounts; and promote wellness and prevention.”