Medicaid Expansion and the “Not My Deal” caucus

Money down the drain

Money down the drain

Twenty-Four days and $60,000,000 dollars later, Tennesseans and the medical professionals that serve them are still suffering the ill effects of the State government’s inaction on Medicaid expansion.

Trace showed us this morning that the debate is getting contentious on the floor of the State House. And I gotta say, the comments from Rep. Barrett Rich (R-Somerville) are pretty disturbing. Here’s what he had to say…

…I think one point that hasn’t been displayed is we are many, many, many years…without an income tax. The reason we don’t have an income tax is ’cause we haven’t overspent…but we almost got to that point when we had Tenncare fully expanded. I just want to thank Gov. Bredesen for his leadership in dis-enrolling some…of the problem….Rep. Barrett Rich (R-Sommerville)

Now, I’m not going to dredge the whole Tenncare funding debate from 2005 back up for two reasons:

1. That was nearly a decade ago.

2. The funding situation from the Federal Government is VERY different now than it was in 2005.

So its disingenuous for Rich, and his friends in the State House to use that as an example.

At the time we had a Republican President who was more interested in spending billions of dollars on two wars than helping folks in the US…as evidenced by the lost economic decade that was the 2000′s…a decade that was capped off by an economic calamity that we’re still digging ourselves out of.

So there’s that.

Someone's mad about not getting a seat at the big boys table

Someone’s mad about not sitting at the big boys table

Another thing that I find VERY interesting is this post at Pith.

Here’s a couple of snips from that post:

Just taking Ramsey’s interpretation as correct, hospitals from all over the country struck a deal with Obama and, because Ron Ramsey, who is but one Lieutenant Governor from one state out of fifty wasn’t invited to the negotiating table, he’s punishing Tennessee’s hospitals?

–snip–

So, Ramsey is willing to let poor Tennesseans suffer — even after his own family’s medical crisis — not just because of his great conservative principles, not just because he’s concerned about how they’ll pay for this later, but because his feelings are hurt and hospitals have to be taught a lesson about hurting Ron Ramsey’s feelings. (Source)

Knowing what I know about the Lt. Governor, this is a pretty plausible analysis of the situation…aside from the general political sentiment that most State Republicans have about Obamacare generally…which is they’ll do anything in their power to break it regardless of who it might help.

Just another example of politics trumping people…sad state of affairs for the State of Tennessee.




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