As you read this article about Governor Haslam and expanding Medicaid (opening up exchanges in Tn) , I wish you’d also read this article about if Haslam does expand Medicaid and open up the exchanges in Tn, he will be violating Tennessee State law in the Tennessee Health Freedom Act as it states:
The Tennessee Legislature enacted in 2011 the Tennessee Health Freedom Act, codified at Tenn. Code Ann. Sec. 56-7-1016. 2
Under this Act, no public official, employee, or agent of Tennessee may force The People of Tennessee to purchase health insurance or impose any penalty for not purchasing such insurance.
So if Haslam attempts to force The People of Tennessee to participate in a State Insurance Exchange, he will violate the Tennessee Health Freedom Act.
Gov. Bill Haslam says rejecting the notion of Tennessee operating a health insurance exchange was a relatively easy decision, but a distinct one from whether the state will expand Medicaid under provisions of President Barack Obama’s health care law.
The governor, in a speech at a Knoxville Chamber breakfast in late February, acknowledged that hospitals “are in a fix” because they agreed to a reduction in federal payments they receive for delivering care to indigent patients as part of the Affordable Care Law with the idea that Medicaid coverage would be expanded to cover more people living in poverty. Since the Supreme Court ruled that states could not be required to expand Medicaid, several states have decided not to do so.
Haslam noted that whether or not the state expands Medicaid to cover roughly 300,000 Tennesseans — those who live below 138 percent of the poverty level — “there will be costs either way,” because of anticipated cuts in Medicare and other funding to health- care providers.
Haslam expressed interest in Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s decision to expand Medicaid within his state. Scott included a provision that his decision could be revisited in three years, when the federal government will reduce its share of funding from 100 percent.
“We’re very interested in what kind of circuit breakers can be put in if the federal government changes the rules,” Haslam said.
Hospitals and business groups are pushing for an expansion, but a positive recommendation would likely meet resistance in the Republican-controlled Tennessee Legislature.
Lawmakers, however, have postponed discussing bills that prohibit expansion of Medicaid, and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, who previously was stridently opposed to any part of “Obamacare,” has now indicated he’s “neutral” on whether to expand Medicaid coverage and is waiting on more information from the Haslam administration. A decision is expected before the Legislature adjourns.
And beginning in Jan. 1, 2014 ,we will have the expansion of Medicaid, (state exchanges) subsidies from IRS in with exchanges. …1.7 trillion in new spending, $500 billion in new taxes, $500 billion in new borrowing, $716 billion taken from Medicare, all this will adversely affect the poor and elderly in America.