Nine Republicans Missed House Vote on ‘Tennessee Health Freedom Act’

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Well thanks to you nine Republicans who skipped out on such an important vote. I’m in the process of trying to find out who those nine were that had something so important to do that before the end of the legislation session year they left early.

Here’s an update from Nashville Post

The long and short – no Republicans voted no (and Speaker Williams voted yes, also), two Dems voted yes (Judy Barker and Eddie Bass).

Republicans Dale Ford, Curry Todd and Donna Rowland PNVed (present but not voting), as did Dems Stratton Bone, Mike McDonald, Eddie Yokley and Kent Coleman.

Absent were Republicans Jim Coley, Vince Dean, David Hawk, Steve McManus, Dennis Roach, and Charles Sargent and Democrats Bill Harmon, Larry Miller, and John Mark Windle.

Six Republicans Missed House Vote on ‘Health Freedom Act

Via the AP, below is the 44-39 House roll call vote on the Tennessee Health Freedom Act that fell six votes short of passage late Wednesday night. Notable is that nine Republicans did not vote on the measure apparently most because they had departed before the late night session ended.

Only two Democrats, Reps. Judy Barker of Union City and Eddie Bass of Prospect, voted for the measure. Three Democrats did not vote.

Votes Wednesday as the House, on a 44-39 vote, failed to gain the minimum 50 votes needed to pass an attempted compromise bill to allow Tennesseans to opt out of the federal health care law. Voting yes were 41 Republicans, two Democrats and one independent. Voting no were 39 Democrats.

REPUBLICANS VOTING YES

Mike Bell, Riceville

Harry Brooks, Knoxville

Kevin Brooks, Cleveland

Stacey Campfield, Knoxville

Joe Carr, Lascassas

Glen Casada, Franklin

Jim Cobb, SpringCity

Vance Dennis, Savannah

Bill Dunn, Knoxville

Jimmy Eldridge, Jackson

Joshua Evans, Greenbrier

Chad Faulkner, Luttrell

Richard Floyd, Chattanooga

Curtis Halford, Dyer

Michael Harrison, Sneedville

Beth Harwell, Nashville

Ryan Haynes, Knoxville

Joey Hensley, Hohenwald

Matthew Hill, Jonesborough

Curtis Johnson, Clarksville

Phillip Johnson, Pegram

Ron Lollar, Bartlett

Jon Lundberg, Bristol

Susan Lynn, Mt. Juliet

Debra Maggart, Hendersonville

Pat Marsh, Shelbyville

Judd Matheny, Tullahoma

Jimmy Matlock, Lenoir City

Joe McCord, Maryville

Gerald McCormick, Chattanooga

Steve McDaniel, Parkers Crossroads

Richard Montgomery, Sevierville

Jason Mumpower, Bristol

Frank Niceley, Strawberry Plains

Bob Ramsey, Maryville

Barrett Rich, Somerville

Tony Shipley, Kingsport

Eric Swafford, Pikeville

Eric Watson, Cleveland

Terri Lynn Weaver, Lancaster

Mark White, Memphis

INDEPENDENT VOTING YES:
Speaker Kent Williams, Elizabethton

REPUBLICANS NOT VOTING

Dale Ford, Jonesborough

Donna Rowland, Murfreesboro

Curry Todd, Collierville

DEMOCRATS VOTING YES

Judy Barker, Union City

Eddie Bass, Prospect

DEMOCRATS VOTING NO

Joe Armstrong, Knoxville

Willie Borchert, Camden

Tommie Brown, Chattanooga

Karen Camper, Memphis

Ty Cobb, Columbia

Barbara Cooper, Memphis

Charles Curtiss, Sparta

John Deberry, Memphis

Lois DeBerry, Memphis

Joanne Favors, Chattanooga

Dennis Ferguson, Midtown

Henry Fincher, Cookeville

Craig Fitzhugh, Ripley

George Fraley, Winchester

Brenda Gilmore, Nashville

Jim Hackworth, Clinton

G. A. Hardaway, Memphis

Sherry Jones, Nashville

Ulysses Jones Jr., Memphis

Mike Kernell, Memphis

John Litz, Morristown

Mark Maddox, Dresden

Gary Moore, Joelton

Jimmy Naifeh, Covington

Gary Odom, Nashville

Joe Pitts, Clarksville

Mary Pruitt, Nashville

Jeanne Richardson, Memphis

Johnny Shaw, Bolivar

David Shepard, Dickson

Janis Sontany, Nashville

Mike Stewart, Nashville

John Tidwell, New Johnsonville

Harry Tindell, Knoxville

Joe Towns, Memphis

Johnnie Turner, Memphis

Mike Turner, Nashville

Ben West, Nashville

Les Winningham, Huntsville

DEMOCRATS NOT VOTING

Stratton Bone, Lebanon

Kent Coleman, Murfreesboro

Mike McDonald, Portland

Eddie Yokley, Greeneville

DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS ABSENT

Jim Coley, Bartlett

Vince Dean, East Ridge

David Hawk, Greeneville

Bill Harmon, Dunlap

Steve McManus, Cordova

Larry Miller, Memphis

Dennis Roach, Rutledge

Charles Sargent, Franklin

John Mark Windle, Livingston

Humphrey on the Hill @ knoxnews.com

Senate Passes Tennessee Healthcare Freedom Act Resisting Federal Health Care Reform

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Well we’re one step closer to resisting the unconstitutional demands of Obamacare to purchase a government approved health insurance plan. Around two dozen States are now passing or considering passing the same legislation. The Tn Attorney General says the Tn Healthcare Freedom Act is unconstitutional because of the “supremacy clause” in the US Constitution, but he is wrong. In order for the Federal law to be supreme it must be one of the 21 “enumerated powers” granted to it, by the States, all other powers stayed with the States.

Senate passes bill resisting federal health care reform

Tennessee’s Senate has joined the state House in passing bills that tell the federal government the state isn’t happy with national health care.

Today the Senate adopted language drafted by Senator Mae Beavers, which directs the state Attorney General to file a lawsuit opposing the national plan.

“This protects Tennesseans from the National Health Care…”

The bill claims that the national health plan forces Tennesseans to participate. But Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle argued that assumption is wrong, saying the bill doesn’t protect anything.

“The fact of the matter is, this bill does not do that, you know it doesn’t do that, those who will vote for it know that it doesn’t do that. This is about politics, this is about where we are in our relationship with the federal government.”

The Senate passed their measure today. It now goes to the House to begin the process of folding the two separate versions into one final bill. Both chambers are trying to finish the 2010 legislative session today.

The vote was 22-9, with some Democrats joining Republicans in favor.

Web Extra:

The bill is SB2560 Black, Beavers/ *HB2622 Lynn,

the Tennessee health freedom act.
This essentially is a “message” to the federal government that Tennessee doesn’t feel bound by certain provisions of the health reform act.

Because the House favored a bill sponsored by Rep. Susan Lynn, and the Senate favored a different version sponsored by Sen. Mae Beavers, the two houses ended up with different bills on their floors.

Lynn is challenging Beavers for the GOP nomination for Beavers’ senate seat. Beavers was forced to call up the Senate half of the Lynn bill in order to get her own name on the anti-Obama-care legislation.
Beavers called attention to the political fight between herself and the House sponsor:

“…and the sponsor in this chamber has agreed to only accept this language if this bill were to pass, so if it passes the Senate, it will be up to the House sponsor to either accept this language or to kill the Tennessee Health Freedom Act for this year.”

Beavers means that she would only accept her own language, and not Lynn’s milder language, in the bill.

In order to get her version of the “health freedom act” to the floor, Sen. Mae Beavers asked the Senate to recall her bill from a closed committee, an unusual step that goes around the Senate’s committee system.

Beavers insisted the language must go into state law. She said she wasn’t content to simply pass a resolution “memorializing” Congress on the issue.
(We ordinarily describe memorializing resolutions as “having no effect.”)
Kyle said of Beavers’ bill, “This is worse than a memorializing resolution.”

The Memphis Democrat read from Section 15-55 of the federal law:

“Freedom not to participate in federal health insurance programs.
“No individual, company, business, non-profit entity, or health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage, shall be required to participate in the federal health insurance program created under this act…and there shall be no penalty or fine imposed upon any such issuer for refusing from participating in your program….”

Beavers insists that individuals may be fined through the Internal Revenue Service beginning in 2014. (Beavers is correct because on your income tax return you will be required to put you Health Insurance Policy number on your IRS 1040 form and if you don’t have one your income tax will be figured differently so you own extra tax.)

WPLN.org

TN Health Care Freedom Act Killed in Budget Sub

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Tennesseans remember this guy’s name House Speaker Kent Williams. Williams is seeing reelection in 2010 to his House seat as an independent because of his expulsion from the Tennessee GOP by the State GOP Executive Committee. and he should be voted out of office in November, because his vote killed the bill in committee. This is the same guy who wanted tax payers to foot the bill for a $20 million fish hatchery in his home district. He represents District 4 (Carter county) I’m sure this was his and Speaker Naifeh’s  plan all along as Naifeh was against it as well. But this isn’t over……….the bill will come back after the November elections change things.

PLEASE CONTACT Speaker Kent Williams and let him know what you think!!!    But be polite, please!

Phone (615) 741-7450 or (423) 768-3431
Fax (615) 253-0310
speaker.kent.williams@capitol.tn.gov
http://www.capitol.tn.gov/house/members/h4.html

TN Health Care Freedom Act Killed in Budget Sub-Committee

A House subcommittee Wednesday killed legislation declaring that Tennesseans can ignore a federal health care reform law and directing the state attorney general to file a lawsuit against it.

The Tennessee Health Freedom Act, (HB3433) received seven yes votes from Republicans on the House Budget Subcommittee and seven no votes from Democratic members. House Speaker Kent Williams, who is seeing reelection to his House seat as an independent, cast an eighth no vote on the panel, which has equal Republican-Democratic membership.

The bill had inspired considerable controversy earlier in the session and prompted debate again Wednesday, mostly between sponsor Rep. Mike Bell , R-Riceville, and House Democratic Leader Gary Odom.

State Attorney General Bob Cooper said in a formal opinion that the proposed law would be invalid as preempted by federal law and indicated that he would not file a lawsuit as the bill directs.

Odom said that situation would mean the state would have to employ an outside counsel and “spend Tennessee money” on an issue that is already the subject of lawsuits brought by at least 18 other states.

Williams said that was the main reason for his vote against the bill, even though he opposes the federal health care reform law. Bell said Williams had said before the meeting that he would support the bill.

Odom also questioned during debate whether the law will penalize persons who refuse to purchase health care insurance, citing a provision of the federal act. Bell said afterwards that Odom cited just one of 2,700 pages in the bill and “if he believes no one will be penalized, he’s the only one in the United States who does.”

blog.knoxNews.com

UPDATE:Tennessee Healthcare Freedom Act

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TENNESSEE HEALTH CARE FREEDOM ACT: Enacts TN’s State Sovereignty to Protect Tennesseans from mandates/penalties under the recently passed Federal Health Care Plan.

*HB 3433 WILL LIVE OR DIE THIS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28th
in the House Budget Subcommittee.

ACTION NEEDED:

1) These committee members need to hear from you in support of HB3433 TN Health Care Freedom Act by Rep. Bell.

Type an short note, copy & paste it to each of the links here. TN Legislative Switchboard: (615) 741-3011

rep.harry.tindell@capitol.tn.gov, rep.joe.armstrong@capitol.tn.gov, rep.lois.deberry@capitol.tn.gov, rep.craig.fitzhugh@capitol.tn.gov, spk.eme.jimmy.naifeh@capitol.tn.gov, rep.gary.odom@capitol.tn.gov, rep.johnny.shaw@capitol.tn.gov

.2) WE WILL MEET IN NASHVILLE for the Comm. Vote This Wednesday, April 28 at 10:30 AM. Please sacrifice a vacation day to be present & help us fill the comm. room & hallway as we have over the last month to see this bill through. Arrive by 9:30 or 9:45 to give yourself parking time.
Take Charlotte Ave. Exit off I-40 which runs between the capitol & Legislative Plaza. Tea Party Members will gather on Legislative to direct you to room HHR29.

Bill To Limit Impact Of Federal Health Care Legislation Moves Forward In Tennessee

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Finally I found a decent article to post about the Tennessee Healthcare Freedom Act that passed out of the Commerce Committe earlier this week in a 19-11 vote. I watched it live and as I expected Speaker Jimmy Naifeh tried his best to stall the bill and make it fail, but his attempt wasn’t successful and passed out of the committee.

Bill To Limit Impact Of Federal Health Care Legislation Moves Forward In Tennessee

posted April 16, 2010

House members were successful in moving forward with the “Health Freedom Act” this week, as the bill moved out of the House Commerce Committee by a 19 to 11 vote. The panel approved the measure in a bipartisan manner, which is aimed at protecting the right of an individual to purchase—and the right of doctors to provide—lawful medical services without penalty. The bill would also require the state Attorney General to take the necessary steps to defend these rights.

The bill, which has been debated at length throughout the committee process, hit a snag Thursday morning in the House Calendar and Rules Committee. The committee is responsible for setting the House floor calendars and scheduling legislation for consideration on the House floor. On Thursday morning, opponents attempted to stall the legislation once again, using parliamentary tactics to hold the legislation in the committee indefinitely. Eventually, the bill was referred back to the Finance, Ways and Means Committee despite having an insignificant price tag. The legislation will appear in the Budget Subcommittee next week.

// <![CDATA[//

Other states have passed similar legislation, and many are already in the process of filing a lawsuit against the federal government regarding the health care overhaul.

Concerned that expanding government programs are rarely effective solutions to complex issues, proponents of the “Health Freedom Act” have argued the federal government takeover of health care will only prove to balloon the cost of health care services to the states.

The bill has been debated at length by both the Industrial Impact Subcommittee and the full House Commerce Committee. Because there is no price tag of significance on the legislation, it is expected to make one more stop in the House Calendar and Rules Committee before a vote on the House floor.

Similar to House Bill 3433 in context, House Joint Resolution 745 cleared another hurdle this week by moving out of the Commerce Committee, but faces Tennessee’s lengthy constitutional amendment approval process, which can take up to four years.

A constitutional amendment must be approved by one General Assembly by a majority, and a subsequent General Assembly by a two-thirds vote. Following its passage by the legislature, the amendment goes on the ballot in the next gubernatorial election, and must receive approval from a majority of those voting in the gubernatorial race.

A related measure also achieved passage this week. House Bill 2681, which aims to keep tax dollars from funding abortions, was passed by the State House Monday night after a contentious debate by a vote of 70 to 23. The legislation will now move through the State Senate.

The specific language in the legislation states that, “No health care plan required to be established in this state through an exchange pursuant to federal health care reform legislation enacted by the 111th Congress shall offer coverage for abortion services.”

Lawmakers said the measure was necessary to clarify this point because tax dollars are sometimes used to indirectly pay for abortions. The final vote was a bi-partisan one.

The same night, the House considered and passed a resolution that expresses opposition to the federal takeover of health care with a vote of 66-29. After nearly two hours of contentious debate, House Joint Resolution 704 also won bipartisan approval. The joint resolution must now make its way through the Senate for approval.

Rep. Kevin Brooks

Chattanogan.com

UPDATE; Tennessee AG Will Not Join the Other 14 States Sueing Over Obamacare-Says Challenges Are Unconstitutional

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Here’s some updated info I just learned about late tonight, thanks to a friend in the Tennessee Town Hall forum:

Hey Mike, HB 3433 was filibustered by Rep Naifeh in the Commerce Committee this morning…they voted to adjourn to next week (not sure date and time as yet) to stop him. He was claiming the above comment by Cooper and began reading the letter by him including semi-colons etc. Not sure, but parliamentary procedure may have him talking and talking and talking next week when they reconvene. Rep Favors also tried to block this bill this morning. Next week, at this meeting, we need to all be there again with power to demand they pass this bill…..phone calls continue. Apr 15 Tn Tea Party is holding Tax Day Rally at Municipal Aud all day and we will march midday to Capitol to hear some of our legislators speak to this issue. (Still working the details of this).

I can not believe our AG is saying these challenges are unconstitutional. Well this just goes to show our AG doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The “supremacy clause” is not valid if a federal law isn’t one of their 17 enumerated powers, because therefore they don’t have the authority to enforce such a law. I can’t believe a man in that position said this. Even I know the supremacy clause isn’t relevant with this bill. At least 14 other States know it and may save the day for us and then the Bob Cooper will have egg on his face. Attorney General Bob Cooper 1-(615) 741-3491

AG says challenges to health care law unconstitutional

An opinion issued Tuesday by Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper said legislation introduced to block health care reform legislation,
commonly derided as “Obamacare,” is unconstitutional.

Cooper will not be joining 14 other state attorneys general in lawsuits to block the controversial health care law passed recently by
Congress. It also means tea party protestors aren’t likely to stop
coming by his office and shouting anytime soon.

The opinion (read it here) states, “A court would likely determine that SB
3498/HB 3433 and HJR 745 are preempted by conflicting provisions of the
federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” In laymans terms,
that means it’s unconstitutional.

Furthermore, the opinion states, “Congressional power to preempt state law arises from the Supremacy Clause of the United States
Constitution. The Supremacy Clause provides that the laws of the United
States ‘shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every
state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or laws of
any state to the contrary notwithstanding.’ ”

States whose attorneys general have a differing opinion and are filing challenges include Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas,
Utah, Louisiana, Alabama, Michigan, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Washington
State, Idaho and South Dakota. The suing attorneys general are all
Republicans except James “Buddy” Caldwell of Louisiana, who is a
Democrat.

In contrast, pro-health care reform attorneys general are going on the offensive in places like Oregon and Ohio, while the AGs in Georgia
and Kentucky have refused requests from their governors to fight the
legislation.

Nashville City Paper


Democrats to American Business~Sit Down and Shut Up or Else

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Henry Waxman and Dems say to American businesses…..how dare you say our deficit reducing bill will cost you money. If after this, these businesses back peddle then we’ll know they were threatened behind closed doors. Which will be no surprise, just look at what the CBO did after summoned to Obama’s office….since then all of their reports were favorable for health care. Prior to that they weren’t. Or Dennis Kucinich and Bart Stupak swore they weren’t going to vote for health care, then miraculously they did.

AT&T, Deere CEOs Called by Waxman to Back Up Health-Bill Costs


Representative Henry Waxman called the chief executive officers of AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., Caterpillar Inc. and Deere & Co. to provide evidence to support costs the companies plan to book related to the new health-care law.

“The new law is designed to expand coverage and bring down costs, so your assertions are a matter of concern,” ( yeah I’ll bet about as much concern as to vote this monstrosity in against the public opposition by the majority was a concern to them) Waxman and Stupak, both Democrats, wrote in the letters yesterday. “They also appear to conflict with independent analyses.”

Dallas-based AT&T said in a regulatory filing yesterday it would record $1 billion of costs, the most of any U.S. company so far.

AT&T previously received a tax-free benefit from the government to subsidize health-care costs for retirees. Under the new bill, AT&T will no longer be able to deduct that subsidy.

Tax Burden

“As a result of this legislation, including the additional tax burden, AT&T will be evaluating prospective changes to the active and retiree health-care benefits offered by the company,” the carrier said in the filing.

New York-based Verizon, the second-largest U.S. phone company, told employees in a note shortly after the law was signed that the tax will make a drug subsidy less valuable to employers like Verizon and so “may have significant implications for both retirees and employers.”

Moline, Illinois-based Deere, the world’s largest maker of farm machinery, said on March 25 that the new health-care law would increase its expenses by $150 million this fiscal year.

Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of bulldozers and excavators, expects to record a charge of about $100 million in the first quarter of 2010, reflecting new tax liabilities on retiree drug benefits.

No Charge at GE

General Electric Co., the world’s biggest maker of jet engines, power-plant turbines and locomotives, said today it doesn’t anticipate taking a charge tied to the health-care law. (No surprise here if you know this…..General Electric: Obama’s Halliburton?)

GE, of Fairfield, Connecticut, doesn’t see any “material effect” from the law, spokeswoman Anne Eisele said today.

BusinessWeek.com

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