Republican Speaker of the House Beth Harwell had two choices. First choice: She could bring Insure TN to the House floor for a vote, which would have cost us nothing (in fact, we would be getting our Federal tax dollars back to pay for it!) AND would have given access to affordable health care to 300,000 hardworking Tennesseans. 2nd Choice: She could put a "task force" together to "study" the issue.
Guess which one she chose?
"The so-called '3-Star' proposal unveiled today deserves a rating of 'two thumbs down' from Tennessee families. How embarrassing it must have been for the governor to stand there and watch his signature piece of legislative policy be reduced to nothing before his own eyes." - Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville), Tennessean, 4/13/16
Seriously. Speaker Harwell and the Republican supermajority in the state legislature have done nothing while the Governor's plan has sat around for a year and a half and this is what we get - a "task force" made up of 4 Republican legislators who have no interest in passing Insure TN. You know what her "task force" doesn't have? It doesn't have Senators, Democrats, Doctors, and patient advocates. It doesn't have any actual policy or concrete meeting dates. It doesn't have the will to actually, you know, do anything.
"What a sad political joke. What a political charade...We came up here today to hear a health care announcement and we heard about potentially creating a task force that may think about doing pilot programs that has never spoken with the federal government. This is not a plan. This is a complete joke." - Rep. Mike Stewart (D-Nashville), Tennessean, 4/12/16
Once again we are a witness to the failure of the Republican majority to lead. Once again we are a witness to their failure to stand up for the people of Tennessee. Once again we are a witness to their waste of time and their inability to govern effectively.
A task force? Really?! Really.
Chair, Tennessee Democratic Party