Insure Tennessee is perhaps dead. Insuring Tennessee is not.
Something must be done. I have heard that quote or something like it said by a bunch of Republican legislators. Insure Tennessee died. Insuring Tennessee has, I hope, found new life, new hope and new passion. The campaign to get Speaker Harwell to be for something caught more than her attention and a lot of people are beginning to realize something needs to happen.
This morning a thought occurred to me I hadn’t had before. I had initially took the death of Insure Tennessee as a crushing blow. It was but there is more that needs to be said.
In a way I had never realized it is new opportunity. I always felt awkward to a degree. To be for Insure Tennessee meant to be for Bill Haslam and the truth is I wasn’t nt. After the initial
thrill of the bill and the initial hopes for passage I was totally disillusioned with him. He dropped it like a hot potato and ran for political cover when he saw it was a hard sell. His leadership was zero and I am convinced now that part of the problem was that his name was attached. It is hard to argue for the moral integrity of something to people who see its author as a political opportunist. Many times I was told to be grateful to Governor Haslam for presenting Insure Tennessee but after a while the truth was that I wasn’t very grateful. I felt like he made commitments to 280,000 people he just didn’t keep. I know the path forward is difficult and not clear at all, but I really wonder if the path with Governor Haslam was not more apparent than real. Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps I am unfair. I really don’t think so though.
More than ever I really don’t care what it is called. I care about insuring Tennessee. Right now the task force is the vehicle in front of us. I think it is probably a narrow path with them but it is a path. I saw in the Insuring Tennessee movement a hardening of determination in the last couple of months. With every reason to die people were louder, more intense and more determined. As the political path closed there seemed to me to be a new moral urgency to our call. Haslam left us a long time ago. In the last couple of months, even before the task force was announced I got the feeling more and more people knew they were going on alone. Perhaps it was only me and perhaps my perception was distorted but less and less people seemed content to quietly go away.
I hope the Task Force offers real opportunity for real change and will support it if it does. But something must be done rather it meets their political sensibilities or not. There are no longer any acceptable casualties. No one can be left behind.
Let us all resolve not to go quietly or gently. It is time for something to be done. It is time for the insuring of Tennessee. Long since time.