The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee meeting on Tuesday gave approval to the Stop Obamacare Act pushed by Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown).
The bill will now make its way to the Senate floor for a vote as early as next Monday. The current version of the bill requires the governor to receive approval from the General Assembly through joint resolution before expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Senator Kelsey said, “In 1981, Congress reduced its Medicaid funding match to help cut the federal budget deficit, and with over $17 trillion of debt, I suspect they’ll do it again. That would leave state taxpayers to foot the bill and I am determined not to let that happen.”
He said in June 2012 the United States Supreme Court "ruled in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius that states have the right to opt out of Medicaid expansion without losing pre-existing federal Medicaid funding. Under the Medicaid expansion envisioned by the Obamacare, Tennessee is estimated to pay $200 million a year for its 10 percent share to expand Medicaid to individuals with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty level. The federal government promised to pay 100 percent of the expansion cost for the first three years, diminishing to only 90 percent in future years.
“Tennessee taxpayers simply can’t afford $200 million a year to expand TennCare. This bill will ensure that Tennessee budgets remain fiscally sound for years to come.”