Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander speaks about possible health care changes

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MEMPHIS, Tenn.-- Unless Congress acts, making changes to current health care laws, 29,000 Memphis residents may be unable to buy insurance in 2018.

That was what Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander told the Memphis Chamber of Commerce Friday afternoon.

Senator Alexander will play a big role in how the senate looks at the health care law.

Not everyone is pleased about potential changes to health care laws. A few dozen protesters gathered outside the Crescent Center where Alexander was speaking to voice their opposition to repealing Obamacare.

Big announcements this week after the House of Representatives started the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Now the Senate has a turn.

"The Senate will write its own bill. We’ve already started that. The house has passed its bill. If we find good ideas in it we’ll borrow and put them in our bill," said Alexander.

Alexander was in Memphis Friday, speaking to the Memphis Chamber of Commerce at the Crescent Center in East Memphis.

"There are 29,000 people in the Memphis area who will not be able to buy insurance next year with their Obamacare subsidies unless Congress changes the Affordable Health Care Act," he said.

Alexander says that’s because insurance companies are pulling out and premiums are rising.

In the process of the Senate writing their own bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has appointed Alexander to convene a working group with both sides to come to an agreement. Alexander is Chairman of the Senate Health Committee.

"I feel an urgency to move as rapidly as possible but we don’t have any artificial deadlines. We want to get it right," he said.

35 protesters or so showed up outside the Crescent Center.

"We’re here to let him know we care about this," said one woman, holding a sign to not have health care taken away.

They don’t think making changes will make anything right.

"He hasn’t met with constituents to hear our opinions on the ACHA bill and our health care and we want to make sure he knows how we feel about our health care and our rights. This would affect me. As a woman where I can choose to go seek care. Eliminating Medicaid patients from being able to visit Planned Parenthood, if I chose to have a pregnancy increasing those costs and I’m someone with a pre-existing condition," said Grace Weil, who wanted to make sure her voice was heard.

Alexander says people should be afraid if Congress *doesn’t act and those with pre-existing conditions and Medicare should not be affected.

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