The Tennessean reports that, yet again, the hopes of poor people in Tennessee have been dashed. Lawmakers snuffed out yet another attempt to expand the Medicaid program, and supply hundreds of thousands of low-income Tennesseans with federally subsidized healthcare.
The resolution, called Insure Tennessee, would’ve allowed Governor Bill Haslam to employ his version of the Medicaid expansion, something that some Republicans in the state have been angling for but, so far, has eluded them courtesy of the hardliners in the capitalist clergy.
And it eluded them again today; the resolution died 2-6, with one vote abstaining, in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee. Almost every Republican except for Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) and Mark Green (R-Clarksville) voted against it. Senator Green abstained, and Senator Yager was joined by Reginald Tate, the only Democrat on the committee, in voting for it.
This marks the fourth time that the resolution has been killed. While the House variation is still alive, it’s looking unlikely that Insure Tennessee will pass this year.
One of the people on-hand who had their hopes dashed was Tracy Foster. Foster suffers from a long list of health problems, which includes bladder cancer. She’s in a position that far too many people are familiar with: she doesn’t qualify for Medicaid and can’t work because of her illness. She thought that this measure would offer one last attempt at health insurance.
Instead, she and others watched as Republican callousness, venom, and hatred for the poor killed it — for the fourth time.
Foster told The Tennessean that, “I spend every day in pain, and I went everywhere and begged for help. And I guess I can’t get it. I thought this was going to be a way to get help.”
Following this failure, she has few other options. When asked about what comes next, Foster — with tears running down her face — said, “Go home and wait to die, I guess.”
See, the Republican healthcare plan is working like it’s supposed to.
The House version is up for discussion on Wednesday morning, in the House Insurance and Banking subcommittee. It’s not likely that the House resolution will make it through to the Senate, though, and if it does, it’ll face senators who killed the bill simply because they fretted about its ties to Obamacare.
[source: The Tennessean]