In symbolic vote, state Senate opts to join health care compacts

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 11:20am

The Tennessee Senate adopted Tea Party-backed legislation Wednesday to join a so-called health care compact to turn Medicare into a state-run program.

The proposal is merely a gesture of protest against Washington at this point. As yet, there is no compact with the states to join, and Congress is unlikely ever to vote to surrender billions of dollars in federal health care money to the states with no strings attached.

But the debate gave Democratic state senators the opportunity to denounce Republican attempts to cap the cost of Medicare.

Referring to Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s federal budget plan, which would turn Medicare into a voucher program with no provision for rising health care costs, Sen. Roy Herron said Republicans would curtail health care for seniors.

“It has been proposed in Washington, it has been voted in Washington by one House, to end Medicare as we know it, to send the responsibilities back to the states,” said Herron, D-Dresden. “But if any of us in this room think that they’ll send with those responsibilities enough money to fund it so that our seniors continue to have the health care that they currently have, ladies and gentlemen, we ought to think again.”

Senate Judiciary Committee chair Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, defended her bill as a way to relieve Tennessee of the burden of federal regulations. The health-care compact, as it is conceived, also would run Medicaid, the health care program for the poor and disabled.

The Senate voted 22-9 for the bill, with Sen. Douglas Henry, D-Nashville, joining Republicans in support.

“This bill, if we pass it, would simply give us an option, an option of being a member of the compact and making a decision, if Congress should approve it, to draw down health care money from Washington and manage our own health care money instead of having all of those burdensome Washington regulations put on the health care money,” Beavers said. “Very simply, that’s what it does. We could come back and we could set up a framework and we could manage Medicare funds. This piece of legislation doesn’t do any of that. It only gives us a choice, if Congress approves this, of coming back and deciding what we want to do with our health care money.”

The bill’s fate in the House is uncertain. Asked this month whether Tennessee's Republicans are capable of running Medicare, House GOP leader Gerald McCormick confessed he sees the bill as a little strange.

"I don't think that's a real issue," he said. "The federal government's not going to turn Medicare over to the states."

21 Comments on this post:

By: tardistraveler on 5/18/11 at 10:41

If the State took over Medicare it would be the same nightmare that taking over Medicaid and calling it TennCare has been. People who are now eligible for the program would be cut, just like the travesty in TennCare today. My friend on SSDI who, according to the feds, is Medicaid-eligible, and who indeed USED to receive Medicaid, was cut from TennCare along with all the SSDI recipients, and her out-of-pocket medical costs have skyrocketed - absurd for someone who SHOULD be receiving these benefits due to her disability.

I could see the exact same thing happening with Medicaid, where groups of retirees would be culled from the program, and that should NOT happen. Leave Medicare where it is at the federal level.

By: tardistraveler on 5/18/11 at 10:43

Excuse me - my last statement should have read

I could see the exact same thing happening with Medicare, where groups of retirees would be culled from the program, and that should NOT happen. Leave Medicare where it is at the federal level.

I said "Medicaid" mistakenly in that last paragraph. It should have read "Medicare".

By: Kosh III on 5/18/11 at 10:44

Don't you just love how the GOP is focused like a laser on JOBS??


By: pswindle on 5/18/11 at 12:48

TN had better wake up before it is too late. Our state is being run by a group of idiots.

By: EquinsuOcha on 5/18/11 at 2:44

As a show of protest liberals should evacuate the state in droves......The last two posters could lead the charge.......

By: Cookie47 on 5/18/11 at 2:52


That sounds like an excellent idea. CHARGE!!!!!

I say go with Congressman Ryan's plan and budget, doing away with Obamacare completely in the process.

By: Kosh III on 5/19/11 at 5:52

If progressives left the state the average IQ would plummet to single digits.

By: treehugger7 on 5/19/11 at 6:35

So right, Kosh! Maybe Nashville could secede and become a separate state! Maybe we could throw doug henry out of it!

By: Moonglow1 on 5/19/11 at 6:48

Moonglow1: Tea party republicans are bad for your health. By promoting this "death squad" symbolic legislation they have once again defined themselves as being BAD for the people of TN. This idea is being promoted by the tea leadership at the ALEC and is a national agenda to "sell the federal government" to private enterprise. Next time your insurance company denies your health care or raises your premiums thank the tea party Already health insurance companies have a profit margin of 35 percent yet plan to raise your premiums by 10 percent. This is the true agenda of these cowards: deny your freedoms and give corporations control over you. Do you want a profit driven corporation to tell you want kind of health care you can have or what drugs to take or worse yet, deny care to patients who needed more complex and costly treatment so that their profits can be increased. Tea's are promoting "death squad's" to increase profit margins for their corporate friends who want to "take the gov't" and control it. And the teas steal from the gov't. Many hospital corporations right here in Nashville have been prosecuted for Medicare fraud. That means STEALING from our pockets to line theirs.

By: Cookie47 on 5/19/11 at 7:21


Those PROFIT-DRIVEN corporations you're ranting about are the companies that provide jobs, something your president and Congress haven't done because they couldn't find their collective asses with both hands and a flashlight.

It's the agenda of your president to deny us all our freedoms and gain control gain control over every penny we make. Your real problem is you're too damn lazy, cowardly, and immature to stand on your own two feet and not let the government provide you with everything you want or need. If that's the utopia you're waiting on, I personally hope you're waiting until the day you pass on.

Good God, what are you? 12? Because if you're over 40 and still think like this, you have some SERIOUS growing up and maturing to do.

By: Cookie47 on 5/19/11 at 8:00


You seem like a nice guy and we've had some good debates on here but I think you're giving progressives as a whole far, far too much credit. That being said, if people like Moonglow want to go, Delta is ready when she is.

By: Moonglow1 on 5/19/11 at 8:21

Moonglow1: Where are the jobs!!! Give me statistics. Cookie 47 works for the tea party. Cookie's talking points are straight out of the tea play book. I have worked for PRIVATE ENTERPRISE my entire life. I KNOW how health care profits are made. Cookie 47 is aligned with Rick Scott of Florida and John Walker of Wisconsin and all of the other legislators who are giving away government to private enterprise. Even prisons in Ohio are being sold for $1 dollar to CCA who will be making huge profits. However if THE PUBLIC wanted to purchase a prison we would be paying in the millions. So Cookie is full of tea party bull. Corporations are feeding off the govt like parasites. So Cookie where are all those jobs that the trickle down economics of your hero Reagan (who had Alzheimers while President) had said would be there for people. Cookie is a tea party plant. Cookie brings jobs to China and approves of tax breaks for GE and oil companies.

By: Cookie47 on 5/19/11 at 8:40

Moonflow, your rants sound like they're coming from a drug-crazed, immature, uneducated hippie.

"It's the corporations, man"

"It's the man, man."

The jobs aren't there because businesses are holding onto their money, expecting your tax-crazed president to hit them with a whole new round of taxes at any minute. I'm one of those businessmen doing exactly that.

For your information, Moonglow, I an NOT a member of the Tea Party. I've never been to one of their meetings and have no intention of doing so. I'm a Conservative. HOWEVER, I don't believe in abortion but it's none of my damn business what a woman does with her body unless the baby she's carrying is mine. I believe you and everyone else should be allowed to choose their sexual preference although I believe most of the time it's not a preference, it's the way a person is born. Either way, it's none of my damn business. So don't label me as anything other than someone who thinks for himself after listening, researching, and learning without being in a drug-induced state like yourself.

For the love of everything that's good and holy, Moonglow, get clean and get sober then educate yourself with something other than the liberal, progressive BS your shoveling. You're starting to sound like a 1960's cartoon.

By: shef2 on 5/19/11 at 12:31

How anyone can trust the State of TN is beyond me-!
Leave Medicare alone-!

By: Moonglow1 on 5/19/11 at 2:55

Moonglow1: poor Cookie, I do hope you are not an NRA member. People with your attack dog aggressive behavior are frightening. But you are a tea party member so you reflect their thinking and behavior. This is why I oppose guns in cars on campus or in restaurants.

By: Cookie47 on 5/19/11 at 3:28

No, I'm not a member of the NRA. I do, however, have a permit to carry a gun and do so everywhere I go. But, fear not, Moony. I carry to protect my family and myself. I don't do the whole hero thing because the person I save might be someone like you and I simply wouldn't be able live with myself if that happened. The herb must be culled of idiots somehow and I'm not one to stop that. Simply put, you just aren't worth the cost of a bullet, Moony. I'll let you wait for the cops. I would say good luck with that but I simply don't care about you enough.

As for my "attack dog aggressive behavior" as you so blindly put it, it's not my fault you don't have the intellectual capabilities to keep up and can't handle the truth. It's probably the large amount of drugs you've obviously consumed in your liberal hippie quest for nirvana and full-on hatred for America.

Again, get clean, Moony. Get sober. Then, once you have some semblance of a spark of life back in your eyes, educate yourself with the truth, not the liberal talking points you spew in your drunken, drug-induced haze. I'll put it in a way even you can understand - "Get some help, man!!!"

By: Moonglow1 on 5/19/11 at 5:18

Moonglow1: Cookie you simply cannot accept the truth about tea party ideology. They are just messing with your type. They are playing you for a fool and ripping you off.
You prefer to accuse others of whatever to discredit them to make yourself feel better. I understand that your psyche is tortured. When you are confronted by anyone with a different point of view you avoid a breakdown by hanging on to your Glen Beck theories against all reason. Oh and you are wrong again Cookie-i never have used drugs.

By: Cookie47 on 5/19/11 at 8:45

Moony, I'm not accusing you of anything other than being too small minded to think for yourself but drugs have a tendency to make people do that. I have no need to discredit someone like you. You do that just fine all by yourself with a great ease that can only come with lots and lots of practice. Perhaps it's due to one too many sets of needle tracks in one's arm.

The only tortured psyche here is your own with all the drugs you've obviously consumed. I know. I know. You say you've never used drugs but denial is one of the symptoms.

You know more about the Tea Party than I do, Moony. Perhaps it's you that's secretly a closet tea bagger.

Again, you know more about Beck than I do. What little I've heard of him, he's far too over the top and I immediately dismiss people like him. He's a waste of my time.

Now, I sincerely hope you're able to one day admit you have a drug problem and seek help. Until then I'm sure you know just where to find a liberal organization to that will help you find your next fix. Unfortunately, you'll be back to screaming about "the man" again but our expectations of you aren't real high so you don't have far to fall.

Now, I feel I must apologize. I've used several big words that I'm sure confused you. Once you find someone to help you look up those big words, I look forward to your response.

By: Moonglow1 on 5/20/11 at 4:43

Moonglow1: your tea party is obviously using you as a "plant" to discredit those individuals with liberal views. I pity you. I do hope when you require pre -certification from the insurance company for your acute medical and psychiatric illness that your care will be denied. You may then pay out of pocket which as a tea advocate you deserve. Based on your rants, you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity in addition to your mental health issues. You are most likely a borderline personality disorder with depressed mood.

By: Cookie47 on 5/20/11 at 8:45

Wow, Moony, so many big words in one paragraph. I'm proud of you. No, wait, okay, who helped you? There's no way someone of your limited, drug-fogged intellect strung all those words together all by herself. Make sure you tell your mommy thank you for her help when she gives you your warm glass of milk and your meds.

I don't have to do anything to discredit anyone including you that's afflicted with liberal views. You do that very well all by yourself - ie. being so paranoid that you think everyone who disagrees with you is a "plant". It's my understanding crack will do that to those who abuse it.

Sorry, Moony, I'm very healthy and very happy so I'll be around for a long time. If you don't get some help for your drug-abuse problem though, you'll be long gone before me. See you in the obits.

By: Cookie47 on 5/20/11 at 9:15

One other thing, Moony, please step it up, chick. It's getting boring having a battle of wits with an unarmed person.