published Sunday, April 15th, 2012

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander sees med 'bomb'

Tennessee's fine U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is a realist not an alarmist. So when he rings an "alarm," we'd better pay attention.

Sen. Alexander says he fears the current Health Care Law is a "ticking time bomb."

He said: "Millions of Americans, because of the health care law, are going to lose their employer-sponsored insurance and millions of Americans are not going to have as many jobs because of the costs imposed on businesses."

Well, you can see why the senator is issuing a warning.

Sen. Alexander explained: "I remember during the debate two years ago, I suggested to our colleagues on the other side of the aisle who were supporting the health care law -- which I thought was an historic mistake because it expanded a health care delivery system we already knew was too expensive -- instead of taking steps to reduce it.

"I suggested to them that they ought to go home and run for governor if they voted for it and see whether they can implement it over an eight-year period of time."

Sen. Alexander explained his concern: "The health care law mandates that the states spend more money on Medicaid, and, as a result, the state cuts the money it is spending for the University of Tennessee or Nebraska or North Dakota.

"In order to keep the quality of education up, tuition goes up. So students are paying more for tuition and they are paying more for interest on their student loans directly because of the health care law."

Sen. Alexander continued: "Now we are at a point where, because of the health care law, we are going to add 25.9 million more Americans onto Medicaid ....

"What most people do not realize is the effect this has on higher education and student tuition. I hear a lot of talk about, 'Let's see if we can lower student tuition.' One way we can lower it is: Not take money from student loans and spend it to pay for the health care bill.

"Most people are not aware that the federal government took $8.7 billion in so-called profits it earns when it borrows money at 2.8 percent and loans it to students at 6.8 percent -- the government took that money and spent it to pay for the health care bill."

Does that sound complicated? Fortunately, Sen. Alexander understands the problem.

Shouldn't we pay some attention -- before a "ticking time bomb" goes off?

Well, you see why the senator is concerned. Are you?

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
Plato said...

Someone should ask the Senator if he supports the Ryan Budget, because if he does the $8.7 billion he is worried about regarding the cost of education is miniscule compared to what the Ryan budget would cut from education - likewise from Medicaid & Medicare.

In the end, any health care system you come up with results in collecting money from everyone and distributing it in the form of benefits regardless if it's an employer based system using private insurers or a government system like Medicare. You can cut back on the employer based system, effectively throwing people out of any access to health care, then when they get REALLY sick and wind up in the ER the cost goes up exponentially and is subsequently passed on to everyone in the form of higher insurance premiums and more taxes or debt.

To roll back the Affordable Care Act may create the illusion of a savings just like plugging the obvious hole in the dike gives the illusion of stopping the leak, but the cost, just like the leak will simply pop up elsewhere.

April 15, 2012 at 12:21 p.m.
EaTn said...

JonRoss...that sound bite page from the right-wing manual is getting a little worn. I personally hope the court turns down the mandate issue and then the whole health care will be dumped into Alexander and others laps, with their only viable option a single payer one which Obama and most others Americans wanted in the first place.

April 15, 2012 at 5:17 p.m.
jjmez said...

Didn't Alexander pretty much obtain most of his wealth in the healthcare industry from billing government? In fact, most all ther republicans decrying Obamacare got wealthy suckling off the tits of the federal government?

April 15, 2012 at 6:03 p.m.

Doesn't Alexander realize that the Healthcare system was already a ticking time bomb?

One that's already exploded on many people. Medical bankruptcies are still the number one cause of bankruptcy.

If Alexander had another solution, he's been in office for decades. Even just as a Senator, he's had almost 10 years to do something.

Why has he been so ineffectual? And state spending on higher education has been dropping for decades, the average state spends far more on prisoners than it does college graduates.

Perhaps that's a problem?

BTW, what Alexander probably doesn't want to admit about Student Loans is that the worst exploiters of them are private, for-profit colleges.

Why doesn't he care about that issue?

April 16, 2012 at 12:43 a.m.
hambone said...

Maybe we should try the GOP healthcare plan!

April 16, 2012 at 8:54 a.m.

So how do you think obamacare actually lowers what doctors charge for their services? It doesn't. Obamacare doesn't reduce the cost of healthcare. Obamacare was designed to destroy private health insurers and waste the treasure of the american people. It is just a blatant seizure of the health insurance industry by the federal government. That is what marxist regimes do.

April 16, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.
TOES02800 said...

These pro Obamacare idiots must just love to sit at the DMV. That's how a government run institution really works. We already have an example of government run healthcare system called the VA! Talk to the people who have to go that dump and see just how great government run healthcare really is! EVERY government run institution is in shambles, what makes you people think that this one will be any different? Because Obama says it will? Your fools to think Obama has your best interest at heart, it's all about taking control of you and your lives.

April 16, 2012 at 10:57 a.m.
hixsondave said...

If Lamar and the rest in Congress had to live with the health insurance or medicare problems the rest of us survive with I suspect things would change for the better and quick. Social Security would probably benefit by enrolling Congress as well. The savings from dumping there retirement system wouldn't hurt the budget either.

April 16, 2012 at 11:09 a.m.
hotdiggity said...

You cons kill me with your histrionic bleating about the Affordable Care Act being a "government takeover of the healthcare system". The Act imposes and addresses regulations within the system but allows the private health insurance industry to continue to remain intact as before. You can start educating yourself here..

April 16, 2012 at 2:31 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.