Haslam’s Tennessee Plan Is Hurtful And Expensive

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Yesterday, our State Democratic Chairman, Roy Herron, issued a statement responding to Governor Bill Haslam’s rejection of federal funding to expand Medicaid to cover many of Tennessee’s working poor. 

Chairman Herron wrote: "Deuteronomy 30 urges us to 'choose life,' but self-proclaimed 'pro-life' Republicans applauded the governor denying health insurance to 300,000 Tennesseans in working families, even though that means each week another parent, another child, another loved one—or two—will die. Reactionary and radical Republicans should never again call themselves 'pro-life,' not while condemning working Tennesseans without health insurance to die."

We are in full support of Chairman Herron’s statement and shocked by the callous, politically self-serving nature of the governor’s decision. His caving in to the calls of extremist right-wing legislators is now, sadly, becoming a hallmark of his administration. 

Today, we received an email from Dr. Mary Headrick, our candidate in the 2012 Congressional race, urging Hamilton County Democrats to call the governor’s office and protest this bad decision. Dr. Headrick, who has practiced in the emergency rooms and clinics of East Tennessee for 30 years, was the first medical director for Knoxville’s InterFaith Health Clinic, serving the uninsured working poor. She also practiced at the Community Health Clinic in Oak Ridge that sought to divert non-emergency patients from emergency rooms to less costly facilities. She has been in the trenches. This situation is reality to her, not a political football to be used to score points.

“Governor Haslam chose a path that is more expensive per enrollee for the federal government,” writes Dr. Headrick. “In order to strip skin off the backs of low-income workers making less than $15,415 per year (2012 dollars), Governor Haslam refused to accept $730.7 million from the [federal government];  $730.7 million to supply TennCare to 144,500 low-income Tennesseans in 2014.  

“Expect three years of accelerated costs while those newly insured ‘catch up’ in obtaining health care. Mr. Haslam refused $730.7 million for one of those three expensive years. Low-income families, local governments, hospitals and clinics will be hurt.  

“Meanwhile, Mr. Haslam leaves a ‘donut hole.’  Childless adults ages 19-64 who earn under 100 percent of poverty get no help.  Mr. Haslam’s ‘Tennessee Plan’ is hurtful and expensive.”

Sadly, Dr. Headrick is not currently representing us in Washington, where she would have been a courageous and informed fighter for all 3rd District constituents. But we urge anyone, Democrat, Republican or independent, who cares about the health and welfare of our entire community, to follow her lead, and that of Chairman Roy Herron, and call the governor’s office to demand that this decision be reconsidered.  

Paul Smith, Chairman
Hamilton County Democratic Party


Thanks To The East Ridge Police For Cleaning Up

I want to thank the East Ridge Police Department for cleaning up my neighborhood. In just the past week there have been three arrests made on my street alone for drugs. Please keep up the good work. There is still a need. I'd hate to see anyone left behind.   You wouldn't believe how the traffic and activity has slowed down. Thank you, and Merry Christmas.  ... (click for more)

No To The Gas Tax - And Response

Americans are finally catching a break at the gas pumps after more than 1,245 days of gas over a national average of $3 a gallon and what do members of both parties want to do, they want to tax you more on a gallon of gas. Haslam, Corker  and Washington D.C. want to talk about raising gas taxes.  Tennesseans already pay 39.8 cents (18.4 federal and 21.4 state) on every ... (click for more)

Investor Group Plans $31 Million Hotel In Chattanooga Bank Building

An investor group announced that it is planning the development of an upscale 150-room hotel in the historic Chattanooga Bank Building. MCA is comprised of 20 EB-5 investors as limited partners with Red Leaf Development, managed by David Roos, as the general partner. Long-time partner PHG is involved in the development of the hotel and will be responsible for its management ... (click for more)

Police Say Texts From Slain Minister Detailed Drug Deals

An investigator testified Thursday that a minister who was beaten to death during an apparent drug deal had texts on his phone dealing with similar exchanges of illegal drugs. The minister's wife said he had gone out that night as part of a church counseling program to women. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck bound charges of felony murder and especially aggravated ... (click for more)

UTC Cagers Upset No.7 Stanford

"Defense kept us in the game and our fans are great!." UTC sophomore Moses Johnson after the 54-46 win.   The giant killer has done it again. Relying on hustle, determination, key 3-pointers and 10 made free throws down the stretch the Chattanooga Mocs defeated visiting No.7 Stanford women 54-46 Wednesday at McKenzie Arena. Playing before 2,128 cheering ... (click for more)

Vols Land 4-Star JUCO Running Back Alvin Kamara

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee football coach Butch Jones has signed junior college four-star running back Alvin Kamara, who is from Norcross, Ga., and originally signed with Alabama and then transferred to Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College. Information on Kamara: ALVIN KAMARA R-Sophomore • Running Back • 5-11 • 200 Norcross, Ga. • Norcross H.S./Alabama/Hutchinson ... (click for more)