Legislature Passes Stop Obamacare Act

Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Tennessee Senate passed the Stop Obamacare Act, voting 23 to 6 in support of the bill on Thursday. The measure was first introduced by Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) last year to prevent Tennessee from expanding Medicaid under Obamacare. The bill states that the governor shall not make any decision or obligate the state of Tennessee in any way with regard to the expansion Medicaid under Obamacare. If it so chooses, the General Assembly may, by joint resolution, authorize the governor to act.

“In 1981 Congress broke its promised Medicaid matching rate to balance the budget, and Congress will have to do it again,” said Senator Kelsey. “That would leave state taxpayers to foot the bill and I am determined not to let that happen.”

“Tennessee Taxpayers simply can’t afford $200 million a year to expand TennCare,” said Senator Kelsey.  “The passage of Senate Bill 804 has ensured that Tennessee budgets remain fiscally sound for years to come.”

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.

Other states that have opted not to expand their Medicaid programs have also cited their doubt that the federal government will keep its promised level of funding, thus leaving state taxpayers to foot the bill. So far, 26 states including the District of Columbia are implementing expansion, six are in open debate, and nineteen are not moving forward with expansion at this time.

Senator Kelsey represents Cordova, East Memphis, and Germantown.  He is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.


Bicyclist Hit By BMW In North Chattanooga Files $250,000 Lawsuit

A bicyclist who was hit by a BMW BX3 in North Chattanooga has filed a $250,000 lawsuit. Joel Hunt sued Julian B. Bell III and Riley Bell, driver of the BMW. In the incident last Aug. 23, the suit says Riley Bell "approached the intersection at Frazier Avenue and Tremont Street. Riley Bell proceeded through the intersection hitting Mr. Hunt's bicycle knocking Mr. Hunt off his ... (click for more)

Former Tennessee State Museum Employee Uses Scheme To Take Thousands

A new investigative report from the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury reveals that a former administrative services assistant with the Tennessee State Museum took $61,892.04 in taxpayer money. The Comptroller’s Office worked with the chief investigator from the Office of the Tennessee Attorney General to complete its investigation. In February, investigators began to ... (click for more)

The Truth About Justice

The rallying cry in Ferguson Missouri has been "justice for Michael Brown." The question is what is justice? Justice is that the facts of the case are investigated thoroughly and regardless of the outcome of that investigation the family and friends of Michael Brown along with the citizens of Ferguson and this country need to accept the outcome no matter what it reveals.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chief Delmore: ‘You Blew It!”

Far more than 50,000 people, most police officers and law enforcement authorities, have gone to a website, “LawOfficer.com” to read a scathing letter that first appeared on Sunday. Veteran lawman Ed Delmore, who became the Police Chief in Gulf Shores, Ala., after a brilliant career as the “Top Cop” in St. Louis (which he still loves), has written what was entitled, “An Open Letter ... (click for more)

McCallie's JaVaughn Craig Still Improving At Quarterback

(This is the 14th in a series of preseason stories on new high school football coaches, or veteran coaches at a different school, and top players in the Chattanooga area) JaVaughn Craig was the starting quarterback for McCallie all season a year ago, but it wasn’t originally planned like that. Craig was a wide receiver when he resumed his football career ... (click for more)

Hixson Beats Silverdale For Second Volleyball Win

There's something about that second set that gives the Hixson Lady Wildcats trouble. Hixson lost the second set in Monday's volleyball opener against Sale Creek.  They did the same thing against the Silverdale Seahawks on Tuesday, but just like Monday's match, the Lady Wildcats came out on top, 3-1. Hixson won the first set with ease, 25-11.  Silverdale evened the  ... (click for more)