Not to worry. He was back with a vengeance adding this item on at the last minute (which insured...pun intended... there would be no pressure campaign from citizens to vote the way we wanted him to) so WE THE PEOPLE had no recourse to instruct our leaders on what we wanted them to do.
As a side note, did you know that the TN constitution says ...
Section 23. That the citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by address of remonstrance?
It’s my favorite part of our Tennessee constitution.
The reasons given for needing to expand Medicaid (they don't call it this, they call it "Insure TN" because it sounds better...hence the lipstick on the medicaid pig) is our rural hospitals are closing because of the ACA and all of the indigents in rural areas are going to flock to our cities which break our budgets. Terry "Insure Tn" Roland mentioned as en example the Methodist Hospital in Somerville that is closing. Oh my, the sky is falling, we are gonna die, we have to do something!!! Sound familiar? Remember when Congress and the President told us we had to bailout the banks or we were all gonna die? That we had to "abandon free market principles to save the free market"?(George Bush actually said that) Yeah, we know how that worked out. The FED inflated the people's money away while 1% got richer.
That hospital closure in Somerville? Well here's what the CEO of Methodist Hospitals had to say about it...
“It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that we are closing one of our hospitals, Methodist Fayette Hospital, which has been part of the Methodist family since 1980,” said Gary Shorb, CEO for Methodist Healthcare, in a written statement. “Unfortunately, over the last few years, inpatient volume has declined significantly, and the hospital has been averaging a daily inpatient census of approximately one patient, which is simply not sustainable.”
(Not sustainable unless we can get 200,000 fresh bodies on to the healthcare rolls paid for by the taxpayers. You're welcome suckers! As Methodist laughs all the way to the bank)
The reason they are closing has to do with the the small number of people that seek care at the hospital. But yeah, tell us how getting government (TAXPAYER) money is going to fix that.
David Reeve's spoke on this saying "he did not agree with the law as passed but it's now the law of the land"...you lost me at "the law of the land"...Hmmm Slavery was also the law of the land, perhaps we should have just tweaked that? Jim Crow laws were once the law of the land...should we have just tolerated those and accepted the fact that they were "the law of the land?"
I understand we have problems in healthcare. The biggest reason hospitals are closing is government. They are being regulated to death. There are states that did expand Medicaid like Kentucky and Colorado and guess what? There rural hospitals are closing anyway.
Forbes magazine has this to say about Haslam's plan to expand Medicaid "
"Marketing gimmicks, no matter how slick they appear on a Power Point slide, cannot change facts. Despite the buzzwords, the plan is, to its core, an Obamacare expansion. It covers the exact same able-bodied, working-age adults Obamacare prioritizes. It is subject to the same cost-sharing limits as traditional Medicaid and utilizes the same existing Medicaid system to deliver the same Medicaid benefits for most enrollees. The plan would operate under a Medicaid waiver, require an amended Medicaid state plan to implement and would be funded through the Medicaid program. Everything Obamacare always wanted."
And a gentle reminder about Tenncare which almost bankrupted the state...
"A previous Medicaid expansion nearly bankrupted the state after the disastrous TennCare expansion of the 1990s.
Tennessee expanded Medicaid eligibility to a new class of able-bodied childless adults in 1994, just like Haslam wants to do today under Obamacare. In the decade following, the state’s Medicaid costs more than tripled, growing faster than any other state in the region and much faster than revenue. Enrollment soared and expansion costs were well over projections.
By the mid-2000s, Medicaid was devouring nearly 36 percent of the entire state budget. Facing continual budget shortfalls, one governor even proposed creating a state income tax to cover the skyrocketing costs of the program. (The legislature wisely rejected his proposal.)
It took Democrat Governor Phil Bredesen, in 2005, to roll back TennCare expansion and eliminate eligibility for childless adults—which turned into a boon for the state’s economy. Employment and private insurance coverage increased, Social Security disability applications dropped and the state’s credit rating was upgraded."
Read the full article from Forbes here...it has some excellent points.
Expanding Medicaid will add 200,000 new people to "free healthcare". Gee Wally, I wonder why the Hospitals are probably pressuring our leaders to support this bill? Remember when the Republican Party used to be the party of smaller government? Yeah, me too...good times, good times....By the way, all Republicans and Democrats voted yes on this except for Heidi Shafer who works in the Healthcare industry and recused herself. None of these guys (Steve Basar, Mark Billingsly, George Chism, David Reeves, Terry Roland) addressed the citizens points about states that have expanded Medicaid are closing their hospitals anyway or that when the crack money runs out, the counties will be left with some huge bills to pay. What's the point of citizens speaking out if their leaders don't address their points?
If you are a Republican, you need to know that your Republican leaders voted today in support of expanding Medicaid, to expanding big government. They had to you see, they didn't want to (or so they said) but we have to do something because the sky is falling. I'm tired of doing something...I'd like for our leaders not to just do something...I'd like them to do something that works.
Grant to reduce breastfeeding disparities? Check
Grant to provide direct services to victims of elder abuse? Check I spoke on this issue regarding new positions created by this grant. I read online the accompanying documents which detailed the fact that there would be 6 new part-time employees and 1 full-time employee. And my question was what happens when the grant runs out, would Shelby County have to find funds from the budget to pay for these new positions? In light of the cuts that were just made to our police and fire pensions and healthcare, this could be a problem since we don't seem to have enough money to pay for what we already have.
So, Martha Lott, Department Head of Community Services addressed this by saying the jobs were contingent on the grant. She also pointed out that there were only 2 part-time positions being created and one full-time. So I was wrong? Let me print out word for word what is up on the accompanying documents on the county website.
"AS, The Division of Community Services will hire five part-time elder abuse advocates to provide information, support and referrals to elder abuse victims and one part time therapist to provide counseling services to be located at the Crime Victims Center and as well as hire one full-time assistant public conservator and one part-time volunteer specialist to expand the Public Guardianship program in Shelby County pursuant located at the Aging Commission of the Mid-South pursuant to the attached Exhibit A ;"
OK, so I was wrong. There are actually 7 positions being created. Are they using Common Core math where you don't focus so much on the correct answer as long as you can tell how you got there? I don't know. They did add an amendment to this to say that if the grant runs out, there is no expectation that the jobs will remain. No expectation...hmmm I'm sure that will sustain us through the expansion in the budget when this grants runs out because we can't lay people off, that would be cruel. But hey, we can cut the benefits of police and fire.
Do you see how this works? Expand government through crack money that doesn't come from the county budget and then when no one's paying attention in a year or two or three, they can magically create a place for it in the budget where we can't even pay our most valuable employees what they are worth. Discouraging to say the least. This won't change until more of you who live in the county, start attending these meetings and holding your leaders accountable. There were four citizens at this meeting today. FOUR in county of almost one million people. Sigh...
P.S. This message is to our elected officials. You expand government services through grants every other week in areas that government does not need to be involved. Please do not come to the people for another reduction in benefits for police and fire. They don't deserve it.
If you would like to contact your commissioner and let them know how you feel, call 222-1000 or email them here..https://www.shelbycountytn.gov/index.aspx?NID=1209