Tag Archives: Obamacare

Beaver’s “Obamascare” bill would cost billions

State Sen. Mae Beavers R-Mt. Juliet

State Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet

In her zeal to scuttle Obamacare, State Sen. Mae Beavers has introduced an already constitutionally suspect bill that would make enforcement, participation, and material support illegal.

The bill is similar in scope and writing to measures in Georgia, and South Carolina.

It would basically make it illegal for any state entity or contractor to “establish or administer, or assist in establishing or administering, any specific regulatory scheme to operate the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, or any subsequent federal amendment to such act, in this state.

One thing’s for sure, Republicans will stop at nothing to seem more “anti-Obamacare” than the next guy…until it costs $6.5 billion.

As Tom Humphrey reports the fiscal note (cost to the state) of the bill would come out to 20% of the entire state budget.

Needless to say, action on the bill was deferred yesterday, and the “author” says she doesn’t understand why it would cost so much to do this.

Perhaps she should just read the 3 page fiscal note that describes the economic destruction Sen. Beavers is prescribing for the state.

Folks, we get it. Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act…not because huge swaths of it were written by the Heritage Foundation, but because Obama shepherded it through Congress and gleefully accepted the moniker “Obamacare” when the GOP tried to saddle the legislation with it.

Maybe Beavers should find something better to do with her time than propose bills that would economically devastate the state…like familiarize herself with the Supremacy Clause.

What you won’t hear in Gov. Haslam’s “State of the State” address

For Haslam...a lot is better left unsaid.

For Haslam…a lot is better left unsaid.

Tonight, Gov. Haslam will deliver his “State of the State” address. I expect it will go a lot like last year’s address, keying in on education and fiscal restraint. He might say something about Tenncare expansion, but if he does, it will only be to say we can’t afford to take a couple of years of free money to care for 180,000 people in our state…because, you know, free money from the Feds is too costly when you’re terrified of the Lt. Governor.

Haslam will have to face the fact that revenue collections are $171m short for the first 6 months of the year. That’s a lot of scratch any way you slice it. Perhaps this isn’t the economic miracle that he thought it was.

Of course, lower tax collections means the Governor has an excuse to cut necessary services. Every year he’s been in office he’s directed all departments other than education to cut an arbitrary 5% from their budgets…all while lowering taxes on folks who make their money through investment income.

All of this fits neatly into an ideology that’s centered around the”haves” and “can’t haves”…a worldview the Governor doesn’t explicitly articulate, but one he is a studious acolyte of.

But there’s so much more you won’t hear from the Governor.

Giving our money away to other states

Giving our money away to other states

You won’t hear that his Tennessee plan for Medicaid Expansion is a plan in name only, or that, as of today he’s surrendered $85,000,000 of Tennessean’s Federal Tax dollars to other states because he thinks a health insurance plan based on Republican ideology, and authored largely by the Heritage Foundation, aka Obamacare, is a clunker.

You won’t hear about government contracts he supports with a company he formerly invested in, or that an audit calls that same contract into question, or that when he tried to get more government money for his former investment he was told no by members of his own party.

You won’t hear anything about any of these issues, or the contract he gave to his Finance Commissioner’s former employer, or the contract General Services awarded to Enterprise-Rent-a-Car after hiring one of its former execs.

You won’t hear him talk about his economic development plan that includes paying $100,000 per job to a company that gave over $36,000 to his campaign, and is represented by his under the table paid “advisor” Tom Ingram.

You will hear how he’s running state government like a business…he just won’t mention that business is his family business, Pilot Flying J which is under Federal investigation for defrauding clients.

I mean, there’s a whole page of questions and an hour long special to boot.

But despite all this graft, regular Tennesseans must suffer cuts because a state with one of the lowest tax burdens on the wealthy in the nation must find more ways for them to accumulate wealth so…they will “create jobs” even though business leaders say tax cuts don’t create jobs, and so does a study from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

You probably will hear him crow about education, but he won’t mention the reforms he’s taking credit for were first offered by a Democratic President, and put into action by a Democratic Governor.

You won’t hear him talk about our poverty rate that is higher than the national average, or our jobless rate is higher than the national average.

You won’t hear him talk about any of these things because he doesn’t have to. This is just another victory lap in a life of victory laps for a Governor that likely won’t have anyone running against him in the fall, and that feels he can act as he pleases, so long as it doesn’t raise too much of a stir so as to damage his widely held image as a “moderate”.

So enjoy the kabuki theater that will be tonight’s State of the State address, which will be aired online and on your local PBS station.

It’ll be a doozie…I’m sure.