Kevin Unplugged.

“The problem with Kevin is, well, … Kevin.” (overheard at Little Old Fort this morning.)

Pity poor Kevin Brooks.

When AFP went after him for appearing to reverse his previous opposition to Obamacare by supporting Obamacare expansion under Haslam’s Insure TN proposal, Rep. Brooks hollered to high heaven and offered the following defense:

Kevin Brooks nose“I really haven’t had enough time” to decide whether he’s backing fellow Republican Haslam’s proposal, Brooks said.

Brooks said what he has stated are “four very simple things. The current plan is Tennessee unique. It is Tennessee specific. It has no Tennessee tax dollars and the Tennessee Hospital Association has agreed to pay for any additional costs. And I guess that’s what they’re saying I’m trying to get people to vote for it.”

Well, Kev – you are going to need a chiropractor to get yourself out of the knots you twisted yourself into with those “four very simple things.” Let’s take a look at your defense line-by-line and see if we can unravel the truth:

  1. “I really haven’t had enough time to decide.”

That would indicate you are undecided, would it not? Yet multiple sources have said you have been actively whipping votes for the administration in favor of the Haslam proposal. That sure doesn’t sound like you are undecided. Claiming to be “undecided” while simultaneously trying to round up votes for Insure TN is dishonest and purposefully misleading.

[Editor’s note: For the uninitiated, as much fun as it sounds to “whip legislators,” what that really means is to solicit, pressure and count votes on behalf of leadership and or the governor.]

  1. The current plan is Tennessee unique. It is Tennessee specific.”

Kevin, you of all people should know that is not really true. All Haslam has done is grafted a couple of tweaks onto the same old Obamacare/Medicaid expansion that 20 liberal Democratic governors have done in their states and called it the “Tennessee” plan. (Think of it as product advertising you see that says something is “New and Improved!” when in fact they are just selling the same old crap. That’s what you and Haslam are doing here.)

  1. It has no Tennessee tax dollars.”

Ah, this is that misleading half-truth the Administration keeps peddling, encouraging people to spout it in the hope no one will figure out their duplicitous little wordplay. The truth is, this proposal will cost Tennesseans tax dollars – their federal tax dollars. Where do you think that so called “free” federal money comes from – the Obama tooth fairy? It comes out of our pockets. The fact that you don’t run it through the state’s budget first is irrelevant. It is still our tax money, Kevin. And you know it.

  1. The Tennessee Hospital Association has agreed to pay for any additional costs.”

This is the claim that sends critics into spasms of laughter every time someone like you or the compliant news media spit it out. Does anyone really believe the THA will pay for their additional costs without passing along the expenses to their patients (aka, taxpayers) in the form of higher hospital bills? That is assuming, of course, that it is even legal for the THA to do that under existing law.

So there you have the Haslam con-game in a nutshell: misleading statements, spurious claims and tortured, deceitful semantics – all meant to fool legislators, the media and the public into believing this is something other than Obamacare expansion at the expense of Tennessee taxpayers. And Rep. Kevin Brooks is serving as their mouthpiece, while claiming he is undecided.

Nice try, Kev. And get use to the radio ads. You’ll see a lot more of them in your primary next year.

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