Even though the 2013 legislative session in Nashville has yet to kick off, Senator Brian Kelsey has already pre-filed the first bill of the 2013 session that would prohibit the implementation of the Medicaid expansion provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
While the Medicaid expansion was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, ultimately many governors and state legislatures are still considering complying with the now optional provision.
SB 0001 would prohibit the state of Tennessee from expanding the state Medicaid program, more commonly known as TennCare, under the auspices of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The text of the bill simply states:
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the state shall not establish, facilitate, implement or participate in the expansion of the Medicaid program pursuant tothe Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148, as amended.
The bill is likely to first be referred to the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. Unfortunately the committee assignments for the legislators in the 2013 session have not yet been released. Once this has been released, the information will be posted here.
The bill currently does not have a House sponsor, but it is rumored that someone may be interested in sponsoring it.
In the meantime, it is imperative that Tennesseans get an early start contacting their elected representatives to ensure they know that there is broad public support for SB 0001. Encourage them to sign on to co-sponsor this legislation, or to sponsor the legislation in the House. To find your legislators and their contact information, please utilize the Find My Legislator tool on the Tennessee General Assembly’s website.
Also, be sure to contact Senator Kelsey to thank him for introducing this important bill.
Sen. Brian Kelsey: Republican, District 31
9 LP, (615) 741-3036, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lesley Swann is a Co-Host for Tenther Radio and the state chapter coordinator for the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center. She is a native of Anderson County, Tennessee.
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