Left Turn on Lamar

Seven Republican senators yesterday voted to keep Obamacare. While Susan Collins’ vote was not a surprise – as she voted against repeal in earlier years – it was shocking that six others joined her. Included in that list is our senator, Lamar Alexander.

The others were Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.; Dean Heller, R-Nev.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; and Rob Portman, R-Ohio. They joined all Democrats to defeat the amendment, which would have given Congress two years to devise a replacement to the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Why in hell would Alexander, from a very red state, turn on us?

AP quotes him:

“I agree with President Trump that we should replace and repeal major parts of Obamacare at the same time. In 2015, we could have waited two years for relief, but we cannot now, when Tennessee insurance commissioner Julie McPeak says the state’s individual insurance market is ‘very near collapse.’ We have 350,000 Tennesseans who buy insurance in the individual market—those are songwriters, small businessmen and women, farmers—who are worried today that they may have zero options for insurance in just six months.

“In addition, I don’t think Tennesseans would be comfortable canceling insurance for 22 million Americans and trusting Congress to find a replacement in two years. Pilots like to know where they’re going to land when they take off, and we should too.

“My main concern is doing all I can to help the 350,000 Tennesseans and 18 million Americans in the individual market who may literally have no options to purchase health insurance in 2018 and 2019. However the votes come out on the health care bill, the Senate health committee has a responsibility during the next few weeks to hold hearings to continue exploring how to stabilize the individual market. I will consult with Senate leadership and then I will set those hearings after the Senate votes on the health care bill.”

Doesn’t sound like a very good explanation to me. If it’s near collapse, isn’t this the road to fixing it? That means pretty soon the 350K number he quotes will still be screwed when there are no insurance companies who want to do business here.

Does he know where he’s going? He appears to be a pilot who will circle the runway til he runs out of fuel. How many more hearings do we need? We’ve had seven years of this.

You always have to ask who is pulling his strings? Is it some lobby? Is money involved? What does he want from the President?

Alexander won reelection in 2014. He’ll be up in 2020. Does he plan on retiring? That may account for his straying from the base and listening to swamp critters.

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