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Alexander: Swap feds Medicaid for education

4:15 PM, Jan 9, 2013   |    comments
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is proposing a "grand swap" in which the federal government would take over all responsibility for Medicaid and the states would gain all control over education.

The senator said an address to a joint session of the Tennessee General Assembly on Wednesday said that proposal mirrors one he made to President Ronald Reagan three decades ago while Alexander was the state's governor. Alexander said Reagan embraced the idea, but it did not gain any traction in Congress.

Alexander told reporters after the speech on Tuesday that he sees similar barriers to his proposal amid Democratic control of the Senate and the presidency but said the change would remove the concerns and political challenges facing the states on expanding Medicaid or creating state insurance exchanges.

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