On Obamacare/Medicaid expansion, Governor channels Nancy Pelosi.
When the Democrats passed Obamacare (with not one single Republican voting for it), Pelosi made her infamous, outrageous statement:
“We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
March 9, 2010
Now, the same thing is happening here in Tennessee, except this time it’s a Republican Governor trying to ram through the latest version of Obamacare.
To great fanfare, Bill Haslam announced he had negotiated an agreement (turns out it was only a “verbal” agreement) to expand Obamacare through the Medicaid program – a position that 20 of the 28 states with Republican Governors have not done. Haslam calls his plan “Insure TN” but as Forbes and the Washington Times pointed out, it is nothing more than Obamacare expansion with a new name and some highly dubious claims as to the differences. Even the Nashville Scene pointed out there isn’t even a firm plan at this point. Nearly a month after his victory-lap press conference, legislators are still waiting on the specific details. And with every passing day, the special session creeps closer.
Haslam looks for all the world like he is copying the Washington Democrats by hyping his program while scrambling to cobble together an actual program. There is a growing suspicion that (a) he is making this up as he goes along, and (b) he would like nothing better to unload his bill at the last minute, offering little time for legislators to thoroughly examine the particulars or for the public to catch on to the boondoggle.
When Sen. Mark Norris was asked when he expected the governor to present details of the plan he succinctly replied: “Two weeks ago.”
There are also complaints from some in House leadership: “A lot of us are getting cold feet real quick,” said House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada.
In the days ahead, the team at Rocky Top will bring to the attention of policy makers and voters just how Haslam’s harebrained and harmful Obamacare expansion will hurt Tennessee taxpayers and how it will put our state’s future finance at risk.
Maybe Nancy can give Bill make-up tips on how to put lipstick on this pig.