State House OKs bill to ignore federal mandate requiring health insurance

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 5:34pm

The state House joined the Senate Monday in adopting Tea Party-backed legislation purporting to give Tennesseans the right to ignore the national health care reform law’s mandate to buy insurance coverage.

The vote was 70-27, and the bill went to the governor for his signature. It will have no practical effect since federal law preempts state law under the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause.

Democrats offered amendments aimed at putting the state on record as supporting various popular elements of the national health care law, including provisions barring insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions and from capping lifetime benefits. Republicans easily defeated each amendment.

“This bill is simply about liberty and freedom of choice, whether you want government health care or whether you do not,” said Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster, the bill’s sponsor. “Overwhelmingly, Tennesseans do not want the government telling them their business in health care.”

Rep. Joe Armstrong, D-Knoxville, said buying insurance is a civic duty and the insurance mandate reduces the burden that the uninsured place on the insured and on taxpayers.

“In essence what we’re talking about here is somebody refusing to pay their costs,” Armstrong said. “We call those people deadbeats.”

The House and Senate each passed a version of the legislation last session. They couldn’t reconcile the differences so neither bill became law.

That was mainly because of political squabbling between the two champions — Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, and then-Rep. Susan Lynn, a Republican who ran against Beavers in last year’s elections and lost.

27 Comments on this post:

By: treehugger7 on 3/8/11 at 6:39

Jobs? Who needs jobs? Let's just concentrate on stupid legislation that will go nowhere! If the president happened to be white, would you still be doing this? I thought not. Morons!

By: WmCoWatchdog on 3/8/11 at 7:03

It looks like treehugger7 is still mad because 6 other liberals beat her to that clever username. Seriously, quit with the unfounded name calling and try to focus on the real issue. This is all about individual liberty. This is all about removing government intrusion into our personal healthcare. A federal court has already ruled the insurance mandate is unconstitutional, and the U.S. House is not going to fund its financial provisions. Jobs should have been Mr. Obama's focus when the jobless rate was 9.6% and he wasted months of taxpayer time passing his unpopular legislation, so letting the Tennessee legislatures take a few minutes to respond in-kind is only fair.

By: treehugger7 on 3/8/11 at 7:36

Our president is still cleaning up the economic mess of 8 years of republican rule and unrivaled spending. President Obama has done more to help real people than any republican has. The "Making work pay" program will put money in people's pockets when they file their tax return. Tennessee has already benefited financially from Race to the Top, and other stimulus money. If our STATE legislators would look at jobs and economic development instead of wasting time trying to overturn a CONSTITUTIONAL health care law, we might be able to move on to something that might actually help our state!

By: revo-lou on 3/8/11 at 8:12

{It will have no practical effect since federal law preempts state law under the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause.}

Again, this is GOP lip service. If they ever decide to do anything worthwhile, it will be SHOCKING!

By: revo-lou on 3/8/11 at 8:15

{This is all about individual librty. This is all about removing government intrusion into our personal healthcare. }

Except for the regulation of drugs, equipment, facilities and the licensing of doctors, nurses and hospitals, no? And I guess you are right, it is MUCH better to have insurance companies in charge of what we can and cannot do when it comes to healthcare.

By: not_guilty on 3/8/11 at 8:34

The Mad Hatter called.

He wants his Tea Party back.

By: Kosh III on 3/8/11 at 9:10

"This is all about individual liberty. This is all about removing government intrusion into our personal healthcare."

What BS. You and your GOP masters were quite happy to intrude deeply into the personal lives of the citizens: who one can or cannot marry, GOP-nannys telling us who can can and cannot have sex with and when and the list goes on and on. The GOP and relgious right are quite happy to use the coercive power of the state to compel private behavior that THEY don't like.

When Amedment One is repealed, then you hypocrites can talk about liberty.

By: Wonder Bear on 3/8/11 at 9:38

"It will have no practical effect since federal law preempts state law under the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause." --Jeff Woods

Mr. Woods doesn't seems to understand that Congress is not allowed to make you buy stuff. While King Obama and Princess Pelosi would like to have that power, they do not under the Constitution, hence the intense need and desire to ignore that document with all possible vigor.

The commerce clause allows for regulation, not inducement, plain and simple.

By: Wonder Bear on 3/8/11 at 9:44

Kosh III,

Gay marriage has been struck down in every single state where the voters were allowed to weigh in on the subject, whether "red" or "blue" state - all the same on this issue. Laying blame on the GOP is little more than dishonest projection.

Marriage is a religious act, whereas civil union is not. That marriage is hopelessly intertwined with standing cultural policy and law is an indication of how ignorant we have become of the roles of church and state. Most state governments were formed by the churches of those states, for instance.

Given the bitter relationship between Judeao-Christian ethic and radical homosexuality, it seems strange that a fundamental tenet of one, is so highly prized by the other.

PS - I certainly could have gone for name calling, and am not above doing so, but wanted to attempt a meaningful discourse on the subject.

By: revo-lou on 3/8/11 at 9:54

{The commerce clause allows for regulation, not inducement, plain and simple.}

You say tomato, I say potato. We shall see who is correct later.

By: Wonder Bear on 3/8/11 at 10:28

Dear revo-lou:

I would have to agree with you and the post-modern relativistic tone of your observation - if I was being honest - if it were not for the English language itself; particularly the English language as it was used at the time the Commerce Clause was developed.

Merriam-Webster defines regulation in this context as a form of governance, but all the examples given are of producers complying with limitations on their actions.

The same source defines inducement in general as a motive or consideration leading someone else to specific actions.

In essence, the one takes the form of a finger wagging "no" in the face of those governed by same. The other takes the form of that finger being shoved up the individual and collective sphincters of those being governed, with the intention of making the subject bow to the finger's will. You may be comfortable with that model; I am surely, not.

This latter condition is one in which there was such a level of disagreement between England and the Separatists as to initiate the establish of Colonial America. That disagreement did not lessen, but rather intensified as England insisted on Colonial Americans buying what England insisted they buy, and selling what England insisted they sell.

The Constitution forbids the coining of terms of nobility for this very reason: no one in their right mind wanted a King George [Washington] or Princess Betsy [Ross] any more than someone in their right mind would want a King Obama or Princess Pelosi, which by a lack of vigilance on the part of 'good' men and women, is exactly what we now have. Not to worry however; it is something that will be remedied.

By: revo-lou on 3/8/11 at 11:15

{The same source defines inducement in general as a motive or consideration leading someone else to specific actions.}

This is your inclusion, it has no bearing except to support your position.

{The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.}

And these points, as is, are mine.

By: Kosh III on 3/8/11 at 11:24

"Gay marriage has been struck down in every single state where the voters were allowed to weigh in on the subject, whether "red" or "blue" state - all the same on this issue. Laying blame on the GOP is little more than dishonest projection."
((((((
Irrelvant. Voters can be wrong, had integration been put to a popular vote we would still have Jim Crow laws.
The GOP were the pushers of gay-bashing laws. Bush and Sen. Frist pushed for a federal amendment, it was an adulterous GOP senator who pushed in Tn.
----------------------------------------------------
"Marriage is a religious act,"
((((((
Are you implying that only members of a church can marry? Many modern societies have non-religious marriage. Is one not married if it is done by a Judge and not a cleric?

By: Wonder Bear on 3/8/11 at 11:26

Dear revo-lou:

The Constitution does not stand apart from The Declaration, but is rather subordinate to it, and birthed by it.

If you want to switch your position from relativistic to frame-of-reference, that is a welcome change. But let's use the actual frame of reference, and not a form of circular logic, if that's ok.

By: Wonder Bear on 3/8/11 at 11:43

Dear Kosh III:

I am plainly stating that marriage in every societal context it has ever come to bear prior to post WWII is religious in its nature and inception. That it has been co-opted, particularly in the West, does not change the nature of its origins and intent.

I am also plainly stating that if the above assertion is true (and it is), that marriage by those individuals not adhering to the tenets that spawned the marriage concept in the given societal context, are consummating a civil union, and calling it something it is by definition, not.

AH . . voters are only irrelevant when you don't get what you want. Your assertion regarding Jim Crow law is irrelevant, but only because it is wrong. Abolitionists turned the tide of the discussion prior to the Civil War, and they would have continued to do so, left to their own devices.

"Bashing" is a value judgment, and only carries water if you don't hold it up to scrutiny. Labeling is different from recognition: if I call someone an idiot b/c I don't agree with them, I am mostly the idiotic variable in that formula. If however I espy someone following a course of action that summed up, represents idiocy as an observable concept, I could be the smart variable of that equation - I could already be a wiener! (weak humor)

By: Kosh III on 3/8/11 at 11:50

If voting is irrelevant, why did you bring it up?

If I bash your head with a hammer, is it a value judgement? Of course not. Harm to citizens has been done deliberately and often with malice.
-------
As to health care, I don't care for the current or soon to be enacted changes because it is inadequate. We should abolish VA health care, Medicaid and all other govt programs and expand and enhance Medicare(the AMA plan) to all citizens and all citizens would pay a flat percentage of tax to pay for it. Single-payer is more efficient than the current jumbled mess which only helps to overpaid health care companies and the drug lords of Pfizer et al.

By: Wonder Bear on 3/8/11 at 12:02

Dear Kosh III:

If you are addressing me in your 3/8/11 at 11:50 post, please read below. If not, please forgive and disregard. -WB

Voting as an irrelevant concept was brought up by you, Kosh III:

"Irrelvant. Voters can be wrong, had integration been put to a popular vote we would still have Jim Crow laws."

I don't understand how I brought it up, or how I tagged it as irrelevant, in that light.

Harm is another value judgment, unlike getting hit in the head with a hammer hard enough to cause damage. For some folks, getting hit in the head hard enough to cause introspection and/or repentance is actually a good thing. The MTV2 show, Bully Beatdown is a purrfect example.

By: revo-lou on 3/8/11 at 12:14

{If you want to switch your position from relativistic to frame-of-reference, that is a welcome change.}

I think that in my case, in this instance, they are both the same.

By: Kosh III on 3/8/11 at 1:46

WB asked: "I don't understand how I brought it up, or how I tagged it as irrelevant, in that light."

You brought it up: "Gay marriage has been struck down in every single state where the voters were allowed to weigh in on the subject,"

Then I said that popular vote on such an issue was invalid and made a comparison with the fact that bigoted voters would have also voted to support Jim Crow laws.

-----------------
As to harm, it is NOT a value judgment, real damage has been done: innocent citizens have been made inferior second-class citizens for no valid reason. Religious opinion should NOT trump the foundation of our society which is equality and freedon.

By: Wonder Bear on 3/8/11 at 2:10

Dear revo-lou:

Either you're attempting to play w/my head now (a task to which you are not up to), or you don't have the logical mettle to continue this conversation. If you like, it can be me that's not up to it, or doesn't have the mettle, as you seem to tell yourself whatever feels good and it doesn't change anything, go on ahead.

Let's do this again, never.

By: Wonder Bear on 3/8/11 at 2:15

Dear Kosh III:

YOU brought up gay marriage, dude or dudette, as the case may be. I simply responded. It is not a hot button for me; I was just attempting a discourse with you. We can't chat if we can't keep track of our thoughts, now can we?

You don't seem to know what a value judgment is, or where the limits of such a judgment would be - as far as I can tell.

For a bunch of second-class citizens, gay men and women -sure- do seem to have a fat ole' slice of the economic and career pie in this country that is treating them so shabbily. The thing is: if you want to be like me, you have to be like me. I don't want to be like you, so I guess the rub runs in only one direction.

Tellyawhat: you go ahead and believe any ole' thing that comforts, and just think of me as . . .well . . whatever makes you feel better.

Let's do this again, never.

By: revo-lou on 3/8/11 at 2:46

WB, what I think, or what you think, is really not the point, is it? As to doing anything again, we would have had to do something first, wouldn't you say? Pushing opinions, ideals or interpretations mean nothing in the big scheme of things. So unless you, or I, have the power to make a position stick, this banter is what it is. But I bow to you pretentious azz.

By: Kosh III on 3/8/11 at 2:46

Ah, the whole topic, yes.
But you responded as if it was the popular vote, hence the confusion.

When a person is deliberately harmed, that is the limit of a value judgement. People are harmed, whether you want to agree or accept your own responsibility for inflicting the harm or not. (I assume you voted to destroy marriage rights)

"For a bunch of second-class citizens, gay men and women -sure- do seem to have a fat ole' slice of the economic and career pie in this country that is treating them so shabbily."
Puhleeze. How many gay people have been President? Been Governor etc etc. How many are heads of Fortune 500 companies? (honestly that is, not in the closet out of fear for their life or livelihood.) That assertion is a falsehood perpetrated by propagandists who neither know nor care about gay citizens.
And so what? I thought making LOTS of money and success was the American Dream? So what if some people overcame massive obstacles to succeed? You should applaud these alleged successful people.

By: pswindle on 3/8/11 at 4:29

What in the hell is wrong with the elected GOP in TN? Do they not know that Federal Laws trump State Laws. You can't pick and choose what you like about the healthcare law. You want to keep part of it, and do away with some of it. I'm telling you right now get some health insurance, I don't want to help pay for yours. I heard a GOP woman, say, "I don't want the government telling me what to do."
Do you have car insurance? Get Real. Leave my rights alone. I don;'t agree with you, and don't make laws that affect me without knowing how I feel. Our former Govenor knew how sto govern, but this governor wants to threaten everyone with layoffs, if you don't do as I say., and kill the rights of teachers.

By: treehugger7 on 3/9/11 at 7:18

There are a LOT of things that need attention in this state--like JOBS. But instead the legislature wants to fight windmills. Between state and federal government--the feds will win! Knock yourself out, Don Quixote Haslam!

By: GUARDIAN on 3/9/11 at 11:15

GUARDIAN-I didn't know cockroaches lived in trees. lol

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