TN health care: Good for the goose, not the gander?
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The full General Assembly should vote on Insure Tennessee: Vanderbilt Poll | Research News @ Vanderbilt | Vanderbilt University
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Sam Venable: the /columnists/sam-venable-hypocrisys-golden-insurance-premiums_24867683
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Ramsey trashes VU poll on Insure Tennessee | Nashville Post
Some people believe Ron Ramsey is the real governor of Tennessee. He is not the only one who thinks so. I wonder though how many people still believe he will ever be the elected governor of Tennessee. Less and less I think.
He has made his bet on Insure Tennessee. He started off saying that it wasn’t realistic to even talk about health care expansion in Tennessee this year. He basically dismissed it as Obama nonsense and said he didn’t think the legislature should or would consider it this year. From all I read this was his message to the governor.
The governor came up with Insure Tennessee and the senator said all the appropriate things. He said that the governor had done great things and he would do what he could.
Turns out with friends like him the governor didn’t need any enemies. His support never translated into any actual leadership. The majority leader wouldn’t even sponsor the the bill in the Senate. He stacked the committees with no votes and Insure died in the special session. He loudly protested his innocence assuring everyone he had done what he could and just had no influence on any of his members. He seemed astounded that no one believed him on either count.
In recent weeks he has dropped his facade. He has “discovered” the problems with Insure Tennessee and while he continues to pat the governor on the head for his efforts he makes it clear he thinks it is a bad idea.
In fact he has bet his political future on it. He dismisses the recent Vanderbilt poll as unreliable and not worth worrying about. He neglects to mention the support of virtually every newspaper in the state, virtually every business and civic organization, every medical organization, many churches and faith based organizations and a public support which has flooded the emails, the telephones and the hallways of the legislature with a simple message: Insure Tennessee now. He neglects to mention the fact that under his leadership the most important bill in years never even got a vote on the floor. 280,000 people can now
carry a gun anywhere they go in Tennessee. They just can’t go to the doctor.
He has never talked about the lack of health insurance as a moral issue or the unnecessary suffering and even death that is part of their lives. Neither him nor any member of his Senate has shown or talked about any plan or option to Insure Tennessee. His belief is that if the only way people can be helped is by something someone may call “Obammish” it is better they receive no help at all regardless of how vital or needed that help is.
He is now telling people that we need to wait….. wait for a Republican president, wait for a change in federal law that allows that President the power to give Tennessee federal money with no strings attached to develop their own health care program. No mention of how far fetched and almost delusional that is. No mention of the people who can’t wait, no mention of what Insure Tennessee offers, and no mention of what happens if none of the things he is waiting for don’t happen. Basically don’t do anything that might be taken as Democratic success as long as there is a chance that if we wait long enough there is a chance we can do something that might be claimed a Republican success. To hell with the 280,000. Political gain is more important.
His bet is that nothing has changed and that Tea Party math is the only thing that counts in Tennessee. His bet is that the last year was a mirage and Insure Tennessee really a triviality. His bet is that the public opinion the Vanderbilt poll talks about is unimportant. His bet is that Insure Tennessee is really dead and Bill Haslam doesn’t have the stones to buck him and bring it up again. His bet is that he will become the next really elected official governor of Tennessee. And his biggest bet is that the people of this state will not hold him accountable for the shame he has brought to this state and the harm he has done to so many.
He is by profession an auctioneer and is counting that no one will look closely at what he is selling.