Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Cruz gets help from Senate GOP in face of serious challenge from O’Rourke MORE (R-Tenn.) on Saturday said his state offers living proof ObamaCare is on its last legs.

“When Tennesseans woke up on Wednesday morning and opened up our state’s largest newspaper, the front page headline read, ‘Very near collapse,’” he said in the GOP’s weekly address.

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“The story wasn’t about a bridge or a foreign dictatorship – ‘Very near collapse' was our state insurance commissioner’s description of the ObamaCare exchange in Tennessee, which more than 2,000 Tennesseans used last year to buy health plans,” Alexander added.

“What does ‘very near collapse’ mean in the real world? It means that this November, when Tennesseans are signing up for 2017 ObamaCare plans, there will be fewer to choose from – and they’ll be much more expensive. That picture will be the same for many Americans across the country.” 

Alexander used Tennessee as an example of the challenges buffeting voters dealing with ObamaCare nationwide.

“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,” he said.

“Even for a health 40-year-old, non-smoking Tennessean with the lowest price silver plan on Tennessee’s exchange, premiums increased last year to $262 a month,” Alexander added.  “Next year, it’s $333 a month.

“And if you, the policyholder, don’t pay all of it – then you, the taxpayer, will, because a large care of ObamaCare premiums are subsidized with tax dollars.”

Alexander added ObamaCare’s struggles present Americans with a stark choice as they vote this election cycle.

“Democrats will increase Washington’s control of your private health insurance choices,” he said. “Democrats will spend more of your taxpayer dollars to prop up the collapsing ObamaCare exchanges.

“[Republicans] want to help Americans struggling with the cost of health insurance immediately,” Alexander said.

“We’d do that by giving states more flexibility to give individuals and their families options to purchase lower cost private health insurance plans outside of ObamaCare. In order to avoid a near collapse of our nation’s health insurance market, we need a Republican Congress next year.”

State insurance officials say they are feeling pressure to approve large ObamaCare premium increases to prevent more insurers losing money from dropping out of the market entirely.

The White House released data Wednesday showing the vast majority of ObamaCare customers will be shielded from double-digit premium hikes expected to hit most of America this fall.