Chairman's Press


BREAKING: Nonpartisan Watchdog Rules Obamacare Reinsurance Scheme Unlawfully Diverting Billions From Taxpayers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A group of bicameral Republican health care leaders are pointing to a new legal opinion issued on Obamacare's controversial reinsurance program. The leaders urged the Comptroller General of the United States this spring to publish a legal opinion on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) decision to ignore federal law, and a previous CMS regulation that required taxpayers and the Treasury be paid under the Obamacare reinsurance program. To date, CMS has ignored … Continue Reading


Alexander, Collins, Lankford, Scott, Flake Introduce Bill to Protect Workers, Non-Profits, Colleges, Local Governments from Dec. 1 Overtime Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 29 - Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) today introduced legislation similar to a bill introduced by Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader of Oregon to change the timeline for implementation of the Obama Administration's "Time Card" overtime rule - set to take effect on Dec.1, 2016. The legislation would stretch out over five years the administration's increase in the salary threshold f… Continue Reading


Senate, House Leaders: Cures to be Top Priority in Lame Duck

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2016-The Senate Majority Leader, Speaker of the House, and Senate and House health committee leaders all said this week that it is a priority to pass medical innovation legislation into law this year. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters today that "We've got about three weeks back here after the election. My own personal priorities are funding the government and the 21st Century Cures bill, which I think could end up being the most significant pie… Continue Reading


Alexander, Murray Committed to Getting a Result This Year on Legislation to Drive Medical Innovation, Support Precision Medicine and Cancer Moonshot

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 28, 2016 - The leaders of the Senate health committee, Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), today released the following statement on their work on a Senate version of the 21st Century Cures legislation: "We continue our work on bipartisan legislation to spur cures and treatments and better health for Americans. We've been working for a year and a half on behalf of patients and scientists, and we are committed to getting a result this year that… Continue Reading


Alexander: More Than 131,000 Tennesseans Forced to “Scramble” for New Health Plans as State’s Largest Insurer Exits 3 Major Cities

MARYVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 26 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following statement on the news that BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee - the state's largest insurer - is pulling out of Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville, leaving more than 131,000 Tennesseans "scrambling" to find a new health insurance plan for next year: "More than 131,000 Tennesseans who buy their insurance on the Obamacare exchange will lose their current insurance policy and have to scr… Continue Reading


Casey, Isakson, Alexander: Senate Extends Program to Encourage New Drugs and Treatments for Children with Rare Diseases

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 22 - Senators today reached agreement on short-term legislation to prevent an end to a successful program driving faster treatments and cures to children with rare diseases. Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) called on the House to quickly pass the legislation. Today's agreement extends a law enacted in 2012 sponsored by Sens. Casey and Isakson to continue through the end of 2016 a program otherwise set to expire this month tha… Continue Reading


Alexander Statement on Education Department Decision to Withdraw Recognition of College Accreditor

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 22, 2016 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate education committee, today released the following statement about the decision by the U.S. Department of Education to terminate federal recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, a national institutional accrediting agency that accredits 245 colleges serving 600,000 students: "With this decision, 245 colleges will start the extraordinarily difficult hunt to… Continue Reading


Chairman Alexander Holds Senate Health Hearing on Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 22 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander's (R-Tenn.) prepared remarks for today's hearing, "Exploring Current Practices in Cosmetic Development and Safety," are as follows: Today's hearing is an opportunity for the committee to learn about how cosmetics and personal care products are developed, what is being done to make sure they are safe, and what we can improve to better ensure the safety of these products that Americans spend $60 billion on each year. … Continue Reading


Alexander: FDA’s Proposed “Double Regulation” Could Halt More Than 60,000 Lab-developed Tests Americans Depend on for Lifesaving Treatments, Cures

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20-Today U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said that under the FDA's proposal to regulate laboratory-developed tests, which Alexander pointed out are already regulated by an arm of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), "the biggest loser, it seems to me, would be Americans who stand to benefit from the rapid pace of science and discovery." At a hearing of the Senate health committee, which Alexander chairs, he said that this amounts to unnecessary "double reg… Continue Reading


Alexander on Democrats’ Public Option Plan: “Democrats are Trying to Cure the Obamacare Disease Using the Same Prescription that Created the Problem”

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 15, 2016 - U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on Senate Democrats' resolution in support of a "public option," meaning a government-run health care plan: "The Democrats are trying to cure the Obamacare disease using the same prescription that created the problem in the first place. Obamacare exchanges are collapsing because of federal mandates and a lack of flexibility for states and choices for families. The right prescription… Continue Reading


Eight Senators Introduce Emergency, One-Year Legislation Allowing States to Offer Americans More Health Insurance Options Next Year

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14-A group of eight United States Senators today introduced emergency, one-year legislation that would give states the authority to allow Americans who rely on Obamacare subsidies to have more options to buy health insurance unavailable on the failing Obamacare exchanges, and waive any penalty if they do not find a plan that suits their or their family's needs. Senate health committee chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said: "If you aren't on Medicare or Medicaid and don't obt… Continue Reading


Alexander: There is No Excuse Whatsoever for Democrats to Block $1.1 Billion to Combat the Zika Virus

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 6 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said "there is no excuse whatsoever for Democrats to block $1.1 billion to combat the Zika virus" after Senate Democrats voted against funding to protect babies from Zika-related birth defects for a third time. "You don't need money to fight mosquitos in the wintertime," Alexander said. "Republicans are eager to send help now while the mosquitos are out, and the only thing stopping us is a cynical and i… Continue Reading


Alexander: Tennessee Awarded $1 Million in Federal Grants to Help Prevent Opioid Abuse

MARYVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 31, 2016 - U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said Tennessee has been awarded $1 million in two federal grants to help prevent opioid abuse, including by raising awareness about the dangers of sharing medication and overprescribing of opioids. "Each year, more than 1,000 Tennesseans die from opioid abuse or overdose-this is an epidemic taking more Tennessee lives than car accidents or gunshots do. The way to fight this epidemic is not to wage a distant battle from … Continue Reading


Alexander: “Education Secretary Must Think He is the U.S. Congress as Well as Chairman of a National School Board”

*** "Last December, with broad support and the President's signature, Congress reversed the trend toward a national school board and restored control of public schools to states and communities. Now the Secretary is heading in the exact opposite direction. His proposed regulation would give Washington, D.C., control over state and local education dollars that it has never had before. Federal law gives him zero authority to do this. In fact, our new law specifically prohibits his doing this." - … Continue Reading


Alexander: Tennessee Insurance Commissioner Says State Obamacare Exchange Is “Very Near Collapse”

"Next year Tennesseans will be paying an intolerable increase-on average between 44 and 62 percent more for their Obamacare plans than they paid last year …. And if you, the policyholder, don't pay all of it, then you, the taxpayer, will, because a large portion of Obamacare premiums are subsidized with tax dollars." MARYVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 26-U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander today highlighted The Tennessean's Wednesday front-page headline, which read: "Very Near Collapse"-words used by Tenne… Continue Reading


Alexander: “Blacklisting” Regulations Will Bury Contractors Under Mountains of Paperwork, Prevent Some from Getting Work for Violations They Didn’t Commit

NASHVILLE, August 24, 2016 - Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following statement on the administration's release of its final "blacklisting" regulations implementing the president's 2014 executive order: "These regulations will bury federal contractors and subcontractors under mountains of paperwork and then prevent some from getting work for a labor violation they didn't commit. Current law is already clear that when federal contractors violate labor la… Continue Reading


Alexander: Tennesseans Cannot Afford 44 to 62 Percent Obamacare Price Increases

NASHVILLE, August 23 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) made the following statement on the premium increases ranging from 44 to 62 percent made final today for all three plans on Tennessee's Obamacare exchange: "Tennesseans cannot afford 44 to 62 percent Obamacare price increases that will force them to make difficult decisions about their daily lives and their family budgets. They should not have to pay the price for a terrible health care law and the refusal by Demo… Continue Reading


Alexander: NLRB Decision to Allow Student Assistants to Unionize “May Destroy Programs that Have Helped Millions Afford an Undergraduate or Graduate Education”

NASHVILLE, August 23 - The chairman of the Senate labor committee today called the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) policy reversal to now allow "student assistants" at private colleges and universities to unionize a "shameless attempt to increase union membership that may destroy student assistant programs that have helped millions afford an undergraduate or graduate education." Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said, "Today, the NLRB has again changed its policy to benefit unions by … Continue Reading


Alexander on FOX News Sunday: Tennessean’s Amazing Eyesight Recovery Underscores Need for Congress to Pass 21st Century Cures Now

"You would think that if President Obama, a Republican House, and a bipartisan Senate all are for this, we could get it done. That's why I'm optimistic." - Lamar Alexander NASHVILLE, August 21 - Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today joined FOX News Sunday to underscore Tennessean Doug Oliver's amazing eyesight recovery and the need for Congress to pass 21st Century Cures now - unleashing biomedical innovation and giving more Americans access to more life-changing treatments and cures. Telling t… Continue Reading


Alexander: Tennessee an Example for All States, as 7 Out of 10 HS Seniors Filed Federal Student Aid Applications Last School Year

"Not only is Tennessee's free community college program a model for other states, but our state is setting an example for others with its assistance to students in filling out the complex, dreaded FAFSA so they can take advantage of Tennessee Promise." NASHVILLE, August 19, 2016 - U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said Tennessee is "setting an example for all states," as 70 percent of Tennessee high school seniors filed a FAFSA form for financial aid last school year-more than any other stat… Continue Reading

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