Governor Bill Haslam is working quietly behind the scenes to usher Obamacare into Tennessee through the back door.
The Republicans in the legislature seem to also be complicit in this effort largely due to ignorance and influence of special interests. There are two methods up for consideration both of which are being sold to conservatives as a way to fight Obamacare, but in reality they are actually part of Obamacare disguised as "state alternatives". The first method is a called healthcare compact, the other is an insurance exchange.
The recent Supreme Court decision prohibits the federal government from forcing the implementation of Obamacare so long as the state government's don't increase their Medicaid funding from the feds. Therefore a healthcare compact and an insurance exchange (which are part of Obamacare) are unnecessary and actually play right into Obama's hands.
If you read these few paragraphs from the Obamacare bill you will see this clearly spelled out (Section 1331 and 1333 are highlighted) - http://tncampaignforliberty.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Pages-from-ppaca-consolidated-obamacare-sect-4.pdf
Many are parroting the line that "it's better for the TN government to implement Obamacare than the Feds" however the Supreme Court decision prohibits the feds from forcing Obamacare onto the states unless the states agree to it by implementing an exchange, a compact, or take more Medicaid funding. Fighting against the argument for local control may seem counter-intuitive, however the real solution to this problem is for the TN legislature to do nothing.
Listed below is a mountain of information explaining and proving this point. If you read you will come to the same conclusion: The TN legislature should REJECT Obamacare in every form, whether it's expanding their Medicaid program, setting up insurance exchanges, or healthcare compacts. The feds will be unable to implement Obamacare without the state government's help.
There is talk of a special session of the General Assembly to sneak this in after the election but before the 2013 session (Tennessean newspaper). Governor Haslam is unsure what to do about Obamacare (WPLN). TN Speaker Harwell and Lt. Gov Ron Ramsey attempt to push the Obamacare vote until after the election - http://blogs.knoxnews.com/humphrey/2012/02/harwell-joins-ramsey-in-backin.html
From an obscure TN government document planning the exchange (TennCare):
Each State electing to establish an Exchange must adopt the Federal standards contained in this law and in this proposed rule, or have in effect a State law or regulation that implements these Federal standards. Section 1311(k) further specifies that Exchanges may not establish rules that conflict with or prevent the application of regulations promulgated by the [Federal] Secretary.” http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-07-15/pdf/2011-17610.pdf
Another obscure document from the TN government regarding the implementation of the exchange.
Breitbart talks about how taking more Medicaid funding would allow the Feds to bring Obamacare into TN via the backdoor: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/07/27/How-States-Can-Reject-and-Replace-Obamacare
Why the state government should reject the insurance exchanges (Cato Institute):
- More information (NRO) by Cato scholar Mr. Cannon
- Revisiting Obamacare's SCOTUS Ruiling by Mr. Cannon of Cato
- Michael Cannon of Cato's testimony before the Missouri Senate - http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=13692
- The Cato Institute explains the taxing distinction of the Obamacare ruling: (video)
- Cato Congressional Testimony - Should States Create An Exchange?
"The Court put in their decision to limit the federal government's ability to force state governments to expand their Medicade program... "the state governments can block half of Obamacare's new entitlement spending by refusing to expand their Medicade program. If the states also refuse to create an insurance exchange, then they can block the other half of Obamacare's new entitlement spending. State governments are really in the driver's seat here. They can effectively stop the new spending under this law just by refusing to create an exchange, and by refusing to expand their Medicade programs; that has to make the Obama Administration very nervous" - Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies at the conservative Cato Institute.
- The Tenth Amendment Center explains how the TN legislature should be nullifying Obamacare instead.
- Randy Barnett, who actually argued in front of the courts about how Obamacare should be ruled against, explains the choice the states have in front of them. (video) and (transcript).
- Obama admits he wants states to implement Obamacare before they do. State Rep Mark Pody (R) agrees with him: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtjGRAPpFDY&feature=youtu.be-
- One healthcare expert writes:
As appears the case in TN, too many conservatives have been convinced by the "we can make it better" argument, forgetting that-1) the exchange is a government bureaucracy (not a marketplace)2) there is no mandate to build it,3) every "state" exchange is a federal exchange run by the state but under federal rules (control), and4) allowing the HHS-run Federal exchange to be imposed exposes the federal control over health care/insurance/delivery to the public.Obama wants to hide it under the exchange so that the fed's can silently and secretly takeover health care. We should allow the federal control to be exposed.Twila Brase (RN, PHN)
President - Citizens' Council for Health Freedom
"When you take fed money you are completely answerable to the fed. Here’s the deal…the fed is incapable of setting up exchanges in every state, so the 37 states who refused to accept the bribe are safe. TN cozied up with the fed, refuses to join the 26 states that have lawsuits against the fed. They act like “federal monies” somehow grew on a tree up in Washington. Those are your dollars and mine that were confiscated". - Ralph Weber, Healthcare Policy Expert
- State expansion of Obamacare could have a $1.5 BILLION dollar price tag (Commercial Appeal - Memphis newspaper)
- Why The Utah Health Exchange Is No Model Of Health - http://www.pacificresearch.org/publications/why-the-utah-health-exchange-is-no-model-for-health-reform
- Preparing for the Exchanges - http://thehealthcareblog.com/blog/2011/09/22/preparing-for-exchanges/
- 10 Reasons Why Arizona Must Reject Exchanges - (Goldwater Institute) http://www.goldwaterinstitute.org/article/6398
- Creating Health Exchange Entrenches Obamacare - (Mackinac Institute) http://www.mackinac.org/15767
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