Thursday, February 5, 2015

Two Dialogues from the Climactic Committee Meeting That Finished Off "Insure Tennessee" in Nashville

Possible hints as to how (and why) the Governor's health-care plan failed in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee by a 7-4 vote.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 8:58 AM

The following two snatches of dialogue which speak for themselves, occurred Wednesday morning during the climactic hearing of the state Senate Health and Welfare Commitetee, whose ultimate 7-4 vote against Governor Bill Haslam’s “Insure Tennessee” health-insurance plan doomed that reform proposal, prevented it from reaching the floor of either the House or the Senate, and caused the abrupt termination of the special session called by Governor Haslam to consider his plan.

click to enlarge Gardenhire
  • Gardenhire
click to enlarge Yarbro
  • Yarbro

  • YARBRO: ..Mr. Chairman, I would just note that virtually every member of the Tennessee General Assembly receives some form of subsidized health care. Before we make the decision to do nothing, I just think that any members who are opposed or have doubts about this would offer some type of suggestion about what the governor’s plan should do that would actually allow us to accomplish this.
  • .
    CROWE: Senator Gardenhire is recognized.

    GARDENHIRE: Senator Yarbro, I’ve heard you twice take a slap at some of us, and I’m getting a little resentful of it. I have very nice health care provided to me through my private employer. My wife is on Social Security. I guess some people say I should be on Social Security but I’m not.

    Number Two, when you said while ago that we ought to take this seriously, would you name the ones on this committee that’s not taking this seriously? And if you can’t, how about apologizing. This is not a campaign. This is serious.

    YARBRO: Oh, Senator Gardenhire, I completely agree it’s not a campaign, and it is very serious, and I don’t think there’s anyone who’s not taking the job seriously.

    GARDENHIRE: Then why did you say so?

    YARBRO: I did not say so.

    GARDENHIRE: Yes, you did. I know you’re new, but you need to learn how to respect us

    YARBRO: Senator, with all due respect, I do respect this body , and this body gives serious consideration of the issues. The only thing that I’m offering is to say that…

    GARDENHIRE: What you said was, we should take this seriously, and I want you to understand it so you don’t misunderstand it, I’m taking this seriously. I’m taking my time off from my job to be here to look into this and spend my time looking at every aspect of it. So please treat us with respect.

    YARBRO: Yes sir, I will absolutely treat you….

    GARDENHIRE: That’s enough.

    YARBRO ...with respect, and I really do look forward to discussing both this plan and any other plans that anyone would have.

    CROWE Point well taken. Okay, we’re good….

    Despite his protestations, Senator Gardenhire is indeed on state insurance, as several press reports indicated on Thursday. Minutes after the exchange above, the witness was Charlie Howorth of the Tennessee Business Roundtable, a blue-ribbon business panel..


    click to enlarge Howorth
    • Howorth
    HOWORTH...This has positive health benefits. It has positive benefits for 
    click to enlarge Bell
    • Bell
    business….What Governor Haslam has proposed is unique. I’ve seen a lot of these plans...I thnk the Governor has come in with a unique plan that presents conservative values and all the things we were looking at. It is true health reform, which is what we need….If [a business offered the same benefits] ] I don’t think there would be any discussion about it….[Insure Tennessee] is the biggest economic impact that will occur in this state this year. It’s like several Volkswagens [Volkswagen plants, like that in Chattanooga] coming into this state….It’s a great plan....

    BELL: Mr. Howorth, I don’t have a question, but I do have a statement. And it’s for the committee members and those in the audience as well. I want to remind them who the Tennessee Business Roundtable is. I have a copy of a press release here, April 9, 2002. They were one of the main proponents of the state income tax in the state of Tennessee, and again I’ve got a copy of the press release in front of me right now. They ‘re also one of the main proponents of Common Core.

    Now they’re here supporting Insure Tennessee. It doesn’t surprise me that they’re wanting to expand government more. From this 2002 press release it shows that they represented 153 of the largest businesses in the state of Tennessee, and I would remind the committee members and those in the audience that we just last week received a survey from the NFIB [National Federation of Independent Businesses] saying that 65 percent of our independent small businesses in their state oppose Insure Tennessee, and again I just wanted to remind the committee members of that.

    HOWORTH: I wasn’t there in 2002. We do support education reform and educating our children. We certainly do….

    In case anyone is wondering, Senator Yarbro voted for "Insure Tennessee;" Senators Gardenhire, Bell, and Crowe voted against.

    Comments (22)

    Showing 1-22 of 22

    Add a comment

    Subscribe to this thread:
    Showing 1-22 of 22

    Add a comment

      • Surprises Galore at Local GOP's Lincoln Day Dinner

        Strickland says he eschews local media; Keynoter Alberto Gonzales picks a bone or two with President Trump; and candidates turn up in droves.
      • Members of Congress React to Trump Speech

        Congressmen Cohen and Kustoff, Senators Alexander and Corker weigh in on President's adderess to joint session.
      • Haslam Clears Way for District 95 Special Election

        On Thursday, March 2, Gov. Bill Haslam issued a writ ordering a special election to replace ex-Rep. Mark Lovell in state House District 95. The primary election date is Thursday, April 27, and the general election will be held on Thursday, June 15. The Shelby County Commission may meanwhile proceed to name an interim successor.

    Speaking of School Consolidation


    Readers also liked…

    • The Big River Crossing: A Weekend to Remember

      The giant locomotive whistles, the inspiring speeches, the dazzling display of rainbow lighting on the Harahan Bridge at night, and the first treks across the bridge by foot and by bike are all embedded in Memphis history now, as the "Main St. to Main St. Multi-Modal Connector" project came to pass, linking Memphis to West Memphis, and both to the future. (WITH SLIDESHOW AND VIDEO OF BRIDGE LIGHTS)
      • Oct 25, 2016
    • Mayoral Candidate Sharon Webb’s Trump Card: “Divine Intervention”

      Fifth wheel in Monday night’s TV debate concedes she’s not a “Great Debater” but says her record is better than it seems and hints at “inevitable” victory.
      • Aug 14, 2015
    • Rep. Ellison, Frontrunner in DNC Race, to be Honored Here

      Minnesota Congressman's visit, co-sponsored by numerous Democrats and Democratic groups, will occur on Friday, December 9.
      • Dec 1, 2016

    Most Commented On

    © 1996-2017

    Contemporary Media
    460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
    Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
    Powered by Foundation