(February 13, 2014) NASHVILLE – Americans for Prosperity – Tennessee (AFPTN) State Director Andrew Ogles issued the following statement Wednesday after the Tennessee House of Representatives Finance Ways and Means Subcommittee passed the Stop ObamaCare Act (HB937) requiring any Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare to be approved by the legislature:
“The sponsors of the Stop ObamaCare Act, Representative Jeremy Durham and Senator Brian Kelsey, should be commended for their tenacity to push this legislation forward in both houses. Additionally, the leadership and assistance of House Chairman Charles Sargent, Senators Jack Johnson and Mark Green were pivotal in building support. Once again the Tennessee legislature has stood firm and said No to a President whose half-truths and radical policies threaten to bankrupt the state.”
Ogles continued, “The legislation can be debated on two fronts: the merits of blocking Medicaid expansion or the procedure which they will do it; either way, the end result of stopping ObamaCare will save Tennesseans from this disastrous federal overreach.”
The bill has been challenged by Democrats and a handful of Liberal Republicans throughout the process who are hungry to accept the promise of federal dollars. The argument Tennessee is missing out on “free” money up for grabs is muted when compared to the beast TennCare will become if expanded. Finance Chairman Charles Sargent explained the fiscal impact by 2021 would cost the state an increase of $245 million dollars. “That would be 82%…or all of our increased revenue. That’s not counting what we want to do for schools or any other department. When we get to a point that I have one line item in the budget taking up 82%, we have problems. We have lots of problems.”
“This whole idea that we have to grab every single federal dollar is the exact same reason that our country is in the financial shape we are in today,” Rep. Jeremy Durham concluded as the committee members voted to pass the legislation on to the full committee.