Kelsey, Bell Ask State Attorney General To Join Efforts "To Curb Federal Abuse Of Power Over Obamacare Rules"

Friday, January 03, 2014

State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) and State Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) on Friday called on Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper "to join his counterparts in eleven other states in asking Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to go through proper channels before changing rules for the federal health care plan commonly referred to as Obamacare.

"

  

Attorney Generals in West Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia wrote Secretary Sebelius a letter last week "expressing concern that HHS has proposed a rule which 'both compounds illegal executive action and fails to protect the privacy of consumers using the health insurance exchanges.' ”

 

The senators also urged Attorney General Cooper "to file a lawsuit with other attorney generals based on the problems enumerated by the letter, particularly as it concerns illegal rules that have not been authorized by congressional action. This includes enforcement of some parts of the federal healthcare law, while delaying other provisions in violation of constitutional authority.

 

“Tennesseans are concerned with the illegal action being taken by the Obama administration without congressional approval,” said Senator Kelsey.  “The only way Tennessee can enter into a lawsuit is if the Attorney General decides to. That is why I am calling on General Cooper to fight Obamacare today by challenging these illegal decisions.”

 

“The overstepping of authority in regards to Obamacare rules has been breathtaking,” said Senator Bell.  “Our citizens’ privacy is greatly compromised as a result of these rules.  The overreach of power will continue unless states challenge these actions through the courts.”

 

They said the attorney generals objected to five major administrative directives:

·       Although they support allowing citizens to keep their cancelled health insurance plan, the attorney generals wrote that they only way to legally fix the problem is through congressional action rather than administrative rule.

·       They asked HHS to implement commonsense safeguards to protect the security of consumers’ private information throughout the enrollment process on the healthcare exchanges.

·       They called for rigorous training requirements and accountability for all programs using those governing state-licensed insurance agents and brokers as models to ensure a basic proficiency regarding consumers’ health insurance options.

·       They asked for explanation regarding help for defrauded consumers whose personal information was improperly shared, including clarification of liability when the information is wrongly disclosed.

·       They asked HHS "to work in partnership with state consumer protection efforts.  In particular, they asked for clarification regarding federal requirements so they do not bar states from imposing certification and licensing requirements like surety bonds and acts-and-omissions insurance, on non-profit assistance groups who are not licensed agents or brokers."

 

“It is not enough simply to adopt vague policies against fraud. HHS has given its stamp of approval to every counselor who interacts with a consumer,” the letter from the attorney generals said.  “This position of trust has allowed counselors to gain access to a wide variety of personal information from unsuspecting consumers. Unscrupulous counselors, who are not properly screened out or supervised, have easy means to commit identity theft on consumers seeking enrollment assistance.”

 

“We believe Tennessee’s Attorney General should act to protect healthcare consumers in Tennessee from this disastrously flawed law,” Kelsey concluded. 

 

Kelsey is Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, while Bell is Chairman of the Senate Government Operations Committee.

 


Erlanger Opens Sixth Emergency Department To Serve Sequatchie Valley

Residents of the Sequatchie Valley are invited to tour the area’s only 24/7 emergency center during Open House festivities for the new Sequatchie Valley Emergency Department on Sunday from 2 - 4 p.m. (CDT), at 16931 Rankin Avenue in Dunlap, Tn. To celebrate the grand opening of the new emergency center, officials with Erlanger Health System will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony ... (click for more)

Morning Pointe Hosts Car Wash And Hot Dog Sale This Saturday

Morning Pointe of Chattanooga will be having a car wash and hot dog sale this Saturday from 8 a.m. – noon at the assisted living facility. All proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Association.   (click for more)

Black Creek Developers Say They "Followed The Rules" On $9 Million TIF: To Continue Project

The developers of the Black Creek project at Aetna Mountain said Thursday they "complied precisely by the rules when we applied for and received approval of the TIF district." Doug Stein said the group plans to continue on with the project, which he said earlier would include the creation of a small town on a huge undeveloped tract on the mountain above Black Creek (formerly ... (click for more)

WTCI Says Fleischmann Ad Included Unauthorized Use Of Logo

Officials of WTCI TV said a Chuck Fleischmann TV ad contained an unauthorized use of the public TV station's logo. Officials stated in a letter to WTCI viewers: "We understand that members of our community may have received a printed communication from the Chuck Fleischmann for Congress Committee featuring the headline "Weston Wamp Supports Amnesty for Illegal Immigration." ... (click for more)

Cell Phones And Roundabouts

I read the article written by Chris Morgan about the use of cell phones in vehicles and the Chattanooga Roundabouts. Cell phone use in vehicles especially in crisis intersection situations is extremely dangerous. I also agree with his assessment about the roundabouts. One problem I see with roundabouts is that on the two-lane roundabouts where they are coming in from ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The NCAA’s “Division IV”

Jonathan Jensen and Brian Turner are two very smart guys. Not long ago the two sports researchers at Ohio State authored a story that appeared in the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports that focused on the most successful college football teams in the country and, earlier this week, a writer named Ben Cohen broke it down in understandable terms for a fascinating Wall Street ... (click for more)