Alexander Calls for 72-Hour Review of Any Health-Care Bill Before Vote

September 29th, 2009 - WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following remarks on the floor of the Senate (a full transcript of Alexander’s remarks is available upon request):

• “The stakes are high; this is no abstract debate. It’s about your health insurance and whether the government will go broke in a few years dumping burdens on our children and grandchildren. It’s almost embarrassing to say on the Senate floor, but we need to read the bill and we need to know how much it costs before we start voting on it. It needs to be online for 72 hours—that’s a modest request, it seems to me. That’s a short period of time.”

• “I think President Obama was correct when he said the health care reform bill is really a proxy for the role of federal government in our everyday lives. I think that’s what we’re debating. On the one side, we have an effort by the majority and the president to do this massive comprehensive health care reform with 1,000-page bills and White House czars and trillions in spending and trillions in debt. On the other, we have Republicans saying we want health care reform, but let’s focus on reducing costs to each American who has a health care policy—there’s 250 million of us. That’s why this is so personal. That is why people are showing up at town meetings.”

• “I often hear it said, ‘You Republicans are not for too much on health care.’ The difference is we have a little more humility than to say we’re going to take on the whole health care system at once, add trillions in debt and fix the whole world. We’re ready to go step by step.”

• “We need to start over and get it right. Republicans want to reduce health care costs, and rather than try a comprehensive health care reform, we would like to work step by step in the direction of reducing costs in order to re-earn the trust of the American people.”