WASHINGTON – 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.”
U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., made the following statement after voting against the Reid health care bill, which passed 60-39.
“I’ve spent almost three years and countless hours in bipartisan meetings working toward reforms that would enable all Americans to access affordable, private health insurance,” said Corker.
“I wanted a bipartisan health care reform bill that would stand the test of time. Instead, we were forced to vote on a 2,000-plus page, fundamentally flawed, partisan bill that expands Medicaid by sending $25 billion in unfunded mandates to states, takes $464 billion away from Medicare and leverages it to create a new entitlement, uses budget gimmickry to hide its true cost; increases federal costs, and actually causes Americans to face increased taxes and premiums. It’s my sincere hope that Congress returns in 2010 more willing to work in a bipartisan fashion, and my work on financial regulatory reform gives me hope that that’s possible.”