Alexander: “The Only Thing Bipartisan About the Health Care Bill Is the Opposition to It”

Says Government Takeover of Student Loan Industry Will Overcharge Students to Pay for Health Care Programs

Posted on March 22, 2010

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate:

  • “I’ve been in and out of public life for a long time, and I’ve never had anything affect me in a personal way like the health care debate. Almost every single person with whom I talked on my way to the airplane this morning had something to say to me about it. None of them are for the health care bill that passed last night. They’re all deeply concerned about it.”


  • “The bill last night was a completely partisan act—the only thing bipartisan about it is the opposition to it. The fundamental mistake is that what this bill basically does is expand a health care delivery system that we all know is too expensive. In a time of enormous concern about the national debt, in the middle of a great recession, we are expanding this system that we all know is too expensive instead of focusing our attention and working together to set as a goal reducing the cost of this system so more Americans can afford to buy insurance.”


  • “One of the untold stories in America today is the condition of American public higher education.  State funding for public higher education has been flat for the last 10 years. Why is that? Because Medicaid costs continue to rise . . . we write the program up here in Washington and then send governors the bill. So what do they do? They cut the amount of money that goes to the University of Virginia, the University of Tennessee, the University of New Mexico or Wyoming. Then what happens? Either quality goes down or tuition goes up.”


  • “On top of all that, you have the last-minute takeover of the federal student loan program. Suddenly, 19 million students and parents will go to the federal government to get their loan beginning in July instead of two thousand lenders across the country . . . and the Democrats are going to spend the savings. They will borrow money from the Treasury at 2.8 percent and lend it to students at 6.8 percent. That’s overcharging America’s students to help pay for health care programs.”


  • “The health care debate is a proxy for a larger debate about the role of government in America’s life.”