Harwell: Only 17 of 73 House Republicans could support Insure Tennessee – Humphrey on the Hill
【from Next Browser】
In a recent interview with the Nashville Tennessean Rep Harwell tries to explain why Insure Tennessee did not make it this year. She looks it right in the eye and misses the point.
She starts off:
“We are dealing with a political issue. This is Barack Obama, he is not popular in this state. There is no sugar coating that. And even less popular than him is Obamacare,” Harwell said Wednesday during a meeting with The Tennessean editorial board…
I think the governor went out of his way to try and distance as much as he could from it, but it’s a hard sell. It’s just a hard sell in the legislature.”
Reading her interview it sounded like this was her defense of what happened. “Disliking Obama was more important than insuring 280,000 Tennesseans. The political capital of saying no was more important than the social and moral capital of saying yes. People were not willing to support Insure Tennessee because they thought it would make them vulnerable to criticism or challenge.”
She says this was a political issue. Political issues are normally an argument between competing ideas. It is an argument between “this or that.” There was no “that”. There was not an argument for a better idea. There was not even a real argument how to make an idea better. The argument was about doing something or doing nothing. It was about care or abandonment. It was about moral stance or political expediency. It was, for Harwell, about leadership or surrender. She surrendered.
She says there was 43 of 50 needed votes. I can’t help but wonder about what part of 7 would have heard her if she had made an effort to speak. She simply didn’t try. Governor Haslam took great pains to point out the ways Insure Tennessee was not Obamacare, that in fact, it was a Tennessee answer to Obamacare. Perhaps if a speaker had spoken…. well perhaps.
She says we need to solve the problem of TennCare before tackling Insure Tennessee. The governor in everything he has said indicates that the management of TennCare is one of the greatest triumphs of his administration. She either unaware of this or unconvinced. It sounds like she is saying the answer to uncompensated care is to create more. The only reason to make Insure Tennessee dependent upon TennCare reform is simply to give one more excuse not to deal with Insure Tennessee.
A speaker who cant get the Bible bill of the floor can’t get Insure Tennessee on the floor. Tell me another one.