Well just as I suspected and I’m sure Steve and others as well, RINO Haslam pulls a fast one just after my last post on this subject. My question is forgetting Haslam trying to decieve us by announcing he won’t expand Medicaid, what is going to happen when the Federal money Tennessee is getting to insure the uninsured? Is Tennessee going to drop their coverage then or fund the coverage by adding it to the Tennessee budget ? The later we can’t afford Governor Haslam.
Reporting Live From Legislative Plaza (Nashville, TN):
In less than 8 hrs since it was reported this morning that Tennessee Governor Haslam would not accept the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare things have swiftly changed. Haslam made his announcement this morning at 9:35 AM, which misled the people of Tennessee and the media to report that Tennessee would not participate in the Medicaid expansion. However, he shortly there after released a “new plan“, which the media did not report on. This new plan actually sneaks the expansion in through the back door. The Tennessee plan will “leverage available federal dollars to purchase private health insurance for Tennesseans up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level who don’t have access to health insurance, which would translate to
Legislative Plaza (Nashville, TN)
175,000 more insured Tennesseans.” This is essentially a copycat from the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. It uses the 100% federal reimbursement for three years under the disguise of “leveraging.” It is a carbon copy of the President’s health care law to provide health insurance for everyone—paid for by taxpayers– below 138% of the federal poverty level. One will be hard pressed to find the difference between Haslam’s “new plan” and the old plan. Legislators say they had a feeling the Governor would attempt this maneuver and to safeguard against it they crafted SB0804 (State Senator Kelsey-R) and HB0937 (State Representative Durham-R). (Brian Kelsey, of course. I would have suspected nothing less from him) The Governor has consistently requested that these bills be delayed for a vote and be kept out of committee. These bills were finally allowed up for a vote in committee today, but only after the Governor made his announcement that the state would “not accept the Medicaid expansion”. If they had passed without amendments it would have legally banned the state from accepting the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. However, it seems that the Governor had a hand in having the legislation amended and watered down. State Senator Mark Green amended the Senate version of the bill so that the Governor could still sneak in the expansion. The bill passed committee 7-2. The Tennessee Governor is attempting to pull a fast one on his constituents by telling the media Tennessee will not accept the expansion when in reality he has just changed the name of the expansion to something different. When state Senator Kelsey was asked what the forecast looked like for the House version of the bill he stated, “These legislators are spineless & don’t want to vote. Especially in the House. The whole thing is turning into a sideshow.” The bills have been amended and rolled to the next calendar year for a full vote. Senator Kelsey and Representative Durham have led the charge along with the help of grassroots organizers to block Obamacare in the state of Tennessee.(Which I might add was evidently just a front for this to happen later. I personally don’t trust Kelsey) Haslam’s plan mirrors that of the Governors of Florida and Arkansas, which are so unpopular that state legislators are challenging their Governors there as well.
From Tom Humphrey
reactions from State legislators and Lamar Alexander plus Bob Corker bellow:
From Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey:
Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) said the following upon the conclusion
of Governor Haslam’s address to a joint session of the 108th General Assembly:
“I applaud Governor Haslam’s decision to reject Obama’s medicaid expansion.
Without bold reform of the Medicaid program tailored to Tennessee’s unique
situation, there can be no compromise on this issue.”
“Four out of every ten dollars the federal government spends comes out of the
back pockets of future generations. Tennessee must receive assurances that have
not been forthcoming. Governor Haslam has laid out a plan for what true health
care reform looks like. I commend him for his continued thoughtful and measured
approach to this complex issue.”
From Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State Rep. Gloria Johnson of Knoxville issued the following statement in response to Governor Bill Haslam’s rejection of federal funding to expand Medicaid coverage to as many as 300,000 working families in Tennessee:
“A great opportunity to expand essential health coverage to 300,000 low-wage earners — servers, store clerks, farm hands — has been squandered because of extreme politics and a failure of leadership.
“Every Tennessean who works for a living deserves the dignity and security of being able to go the doctor when they get sick or hurt.
“The truest measure of a state is how we treat our most vulnerable citizens, and sadly, this is one more irresponsible decision in a line of many that punishes working and middle class families.”
From U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais:
Washington, DC – Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D. (TN-04) released the following statement on Governor Haslam’s announcement to not adopt the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion:
“Expanding Medicaid based on a promise the federal government will pick up the tab is short-sighted. Washington’s unsustainable deficit spending means we will likely see a situation where the funds devoted to paying for the Medicaid expansion dry up, forcing states to foot the bill. It is my hope that the administration will listen to the local voices echoing across this country that the Obama plan will not work.”
From Sen. Lamar Alexander:
NASHVILLE, March 27 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released the following statement on Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s announcement today that he will pursue greater state flexibility in increasing access to health care for Tennesseans, instead of expanding Tennessee’s Medicaid program, TennCare:
“I trust Governor Haslam to do what is in the best interest of Tennesseans. I will do all I can to help the state get the flexibility he has asked for.”
From Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — “Governor Haslam offered a good solution, rather than expanding an unsustainable and broken program. Unlike Washington, Tennessee has been working hard to control health care costs. Hopefully, Washington will see our 20-year record of working through the problems we face with our healthcare system and agree to work with us on a plan that will truly be both beneficial to improving healthcare outcomes in our state and sustainable over the long run.”
From Tennessee Health Care Campaign:
After months of studying the options, impacts, and costs associated with expanding Medicaid, Governor Bill Haslam announced today that his administration would not accept the federal funds to cover Tennessee’s uninsured.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes health insurance more accessible by expanding state Medicaid programs to include more low-income individuals and families (including childless adults). The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last summer that states should have the option – not the requirement – to expand their Medicaid program. For states that choose to expand, the federal government has promised to match 100% of the expansion costs for the first three years beginning in 2014. That match stair-steps down to 90% by 2020 where it will remain.
“To say that we are disappointed would be an understatement,” commented Brad A. Palmertree, Interim Executive Director of the Tennessee Health Care Campaign, a nonprofit health care consumer advocacy organization in Nashville. “Governor Haslam had the opportunity to show real leadership for the people of Tennessee. We all know that those who need insurance the most are usually the ones who cannot afford it. Because of his decision, there will still be hundreds of thousands of uninsured Tennesseans. These will be children who will go without needed vaccinations, baby boomers who will continue to put off needed care, and individuals living with disabilities without needed aids.”
Hospitals, chambers of commerce, insurers, faith groups, and provider groups have recognized the numerous benefits of expanding Tennessee’s Medicaid program to cover the uninsured. Tennessee Health Care Campaign hopes that Governor Haslam will reconsider his decision and will provide the leadership needed to implement meaningful health reform so that working low-income Tennesseans can be productive, contributing members of their community with access to affordable health care.
NASHVILLE, TN — “While we are disappointed that we are not able to move forward today, we are glad that Governor Haslam continues to be interested in finding a way to provide health insurance for hard-working folks and their families. We are greatly concerned about the health care needs of individuals close to poverty as well as hospitals which are struggling to pay for care for those who are not insured,” said Rebecca Kelly, State Director for AARP Tennessee. “We are anxious to learn more about the Tennessee Plan and will work with the governor and the Legislature to arrive at the best solution for Tennessee.”
A report commissioned by AARP on behalf of a Healthy Tennessee can be found at http://bit.ly/16KefMN
From Sen. Bob Corker:
WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., released the following statement today regarding Governor Haslam’s announcement that he will seek more flexibility to use federal money to expand private health insurance coverage, rather than expanding Tennessee’s Medicaid program, TennCare.
“I’ve had several conversations with Governor Haslam and appreciate that he has studied this issue extensively, weighed the options and chosen the course he feels is best for Tennessee,” said Corker.