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.
"I'm here to say that the best thing Washington D.C. could do or the state of Tennessee would be to stop imposing unfunded federal mandates that soak up your money," said Alexander.
The senator said in an address to a joint session of the Tennessee General Assembly on Wednesday 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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