Working with President Trump and my colleagues to lower health insurance costs for Tennesseans, fight opioid abuse

Senator Lamar Alexander
2018-01-13 07:12:31
Latest from Lamar, Notes from the Senate Desk *This week, I joined President Trump at the American Farm Bureau Federation's Annual Convention in Nashville. * In his remarks in Nashville on Monday, the president focused on the needs of rural Tennessee and Tennessee farmers. For too long, our farmers have been overregulated and the needs of our rural communities have been ignored. I am working with the president and with my colleagues in Congress on two issues of urgency to rural Tennesseans: First, lowering the cost of health insurance especially for 150,000 Tennesseans who buy insurance in the individual market without government subsidies and those who are priced out of insurance by skyrocketing premiums; second, the opioid overdose crisis, a public health epidemic that is killing more Tennesseans each year than automobile accidents. You can read more about my bipartisan legislation with Sen. Patty Murray from Washington to lower insurance rates and take control over health insurance out of Washington and return it to the states here. This legislation has the support of President Trump, and I hope it will soon become law. Below, you can read more about the hearing I chaired this week on the opioid crisis. Tuesday's hearing was our third hearing in a series on addressing this crisis and our committee's first hearing of 2018. *An antidote to the opioid crisis is strong local communities and the federal government can be a helping hand.* On Tuesday, the Senate health committee devoted its first hearing of the year to addressing the opioid crisis - a crisis that kills more Tennesseans every year than car accidents and is our number one public health challenge. We heard from Sam Quinones, the author of "Dreamland," who has done extensive research into the opioid crisis. In his book, Quinones wrote, "I believe more strongly than ever that the antidote to heroin is community ... make sure people in your neighborhood do things together ... break down those barriers that keep people isolated." I agree -- the antidote to the opioid crisis is strong local communities and the federal government can be a helping hand. Congress has passed legislation - the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21st Century Cures Act - that helps communities through new programs and provides funding for state grants. As Congress continues to consider additional action, Senator Murray, the lead Democrat on our committee, and I have written [link 3] to every governor and state insurance commissioner in the country asking for input on how these new laws are helping and how the federal government can be the best possible partner for states on the front lines of the opioid crisis. *On Friday, I visited The Tennessean to talk with their editorial board and reporters about issues that are important to Tennesseans, including the tax reform bill Congress passed last year and our work to help communities deal with the opioid crisis that is killing more Tennesseans every year than car accidents. * *Confirming two Tennesseans nominated by President Trump to serve as District Court judges * This week, I voted to confirm two well-qualified Tennesseans to serve as District Court judges. On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed Chip Campbell to be a U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee, which will bring relief to a crowded docket. And on Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Tommy Parker to be a U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee. He brings broad experience and has a reputation among his peers as one of Memphis' finest attorneys. *Next week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee will hold two hearings - one on legislation to help keep Tennesseans safe and another on helping college students:* First, on Wednesday our committee will hold its first hearing on updating the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, legislation that ensures we are prepared to respond to natural disasters like hurricanes, and protect Americans against bioterror attacks and infectious disease outbreaks, like the Zika virus or a pandemic influenza. On Thursday the committee will meet for our second hearing this Congress on reauthorizing the Higher Education Act to discuss proposals to make it easier for students to know what federal aid is available to them and simplify how they will repay federal student loans. Trust your first instinct, but don't act on the first piece of information you receive. *#261 in Lamar Alexander's *Little Plaid Book **
   

This week, I joined President Trump at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Convention in Nashville. 

In his remarks in Nashville on Monday, the president focused on the needs of rural Tennessee and Tennessee farmers. For too long, our farmers have been overregulated and the needs of our rural communities have been ignored.

I am working with the president and with my colleagues in Congress on two issues of urgency to rural Tennesseans: First, lowering the cost of health insurance especially for 150,000 Tennesseans who buy insurance in the individual market without government subsidies and those who are priced out of insurance by skyrocketing premiums; second, the opioid overdose crisis, a public health epidemic that is killing more Tennesseans each year than automobile accidents.

You can read more about my bipartisan legislation with Sen. Patty Murray from Washington to lower insurance rates and take control over health insurance out of Washington and return it to the states

Below, you can read more about the hearing I chaired this week on the opioid crisis. Tuesday’s hearing was our third hearing in a series on addressing this crisis and our committee’s first hearing of 2018.  

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