Dear Senator Ramsey and Rep Harwell :
You got your way, but you lost. Insure Tennessee, barring a miracle will not make the floor. In the long run though you have lost. You took an issue and created a movement. You created a rage, a strong feeling on the part of thousands and thousands of Tennesseans that their elected officials have forgotten who they work for. You have ignored the welfare of 280,000 Tennesseans. In a state where 70% of the people support Insure Tennessee, where virtually every newspaper, every civic organization, every business organization, every health organization, many faith based organizations, almost every public figure or local leader has spoken in favor of Insure Tennessee your voice, your leadership has been absent. In your absence someone like Todd Gardenhire has become the symbol of the legislative response to the challenge of 280,000 uninsured Tennesseans and your entire body has been left to look petty, hateful, and ridiculous.
You have a program that saves lives, means jobs to Tennessee, stabilizes a health system choking on uncompensated care that will not cost the state of Tennessee a penny with an exit strategy should it not be as advertised proposed by a Republican governor to a Republican legislature and you spend 2 days debating on the floor whether or not the Bible should be the official book of the state. Insure Tennessee has yet to see the floor. Perhaps if your members had concerned themselves more with the principles in that book it would have.
You have changed Tennessee. Your policy of ignoring the voices of thousands and thousands of Tennesseans and hoping they would go away has been an abysmal failure. All the rhetoric just seems hollow and self serving. This is not an issue of Obamacare or fears about the threats of Americans for Prosperity or other organizations that think they can buy Tennessee with big money or threaten it with a big stick. It is about justice and a fair chance at life that 280,000 Tennesseans have been waiting for way too long. It doesn’t matter how many people in little red tee shirts are bused in from other states.
You have truly made a mess. It is time for you to act as the leaders you are capable of being. It is time for the people to come first. At long last time for the people to come first. Do the right thing. Put people before politics. Insure Tennessee. Now!!!!