Alexander Says More Decisions, Flexibility, Choices Should Be Given Back To The States

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Senator Lamar Alexander talked with Hugh Hewitt Thursday morning about the Senate health committee’s effort to help the 18 million Americans – including 350,000 Tennesseans -- in the individual health insurance market have access to affordable health insurance in 2018. Senator Alexander is the chairman of the Senate health committee.  

“Well, our focus is very narrow and very limited.

We’re focused on the 6 percent of Americans with insurance who don’t get it from the government or on the job – that’s called the individual market. That’s where almost all the Obamacare debate has been the last seven years. The premiums have skyrocketed, and so have the co-pays and the deductibles -- especially for people who get no government support to help buy their insurance,” said Senator Alexander. “What we’re trying to do is to see if we can take one or two or three small steps in September that lower premiums in 2018. And that’s why we’ve had the insurance commissioners in yesterday, and the governors today.

“The problem with Obamacare was that so many decisions were moved to Washington, and so many restrictions were put on the states in their approval of insurance plans, that the plans got so expensive that people got priced out of the market. …We need to get more decisions back to the states, more flexibility, more choices.”

The Senate health committee on Wednesday held the first of four hearings this month on steps Congress could take to limit skyrocketing premiums for the 18 million Americans—including 350,000 Tennesseans—in the individual health insurance market.

On Wednesday, five state insurance commissioners – including Tennessee’s state insurance commissioner Julie McPeak – testified. On Thursday, the committee will hear from five governors – including Governor Bill Haslam – on this same subject: helping to ensure Tennesseans and other Americans in the individual market have access to affordable health insurance in 2018. Livestream of the hearing is available here.

The senator’s full interview on the Hugh Hewitt Show is here.


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