Not Even Kidding
I’m not even kidding. House Speaker Beth Harwell held a press conference today to make what she labeled a “major healthcare announcement.”
After Governor Haslam spent nearly a year and a half developing Insure Tennessee, the legislature has spent two consecutive sessions avoiding votes and serious discussions of the plan that would provide access to healthcare to between 200,000-300,000 Tennesseans.
Today, some expected that Harwell would finally support Governor Haslam’s plan and call on her body’s members to debate the legislation and take a vote.
Instead, she announced she’s forming a task force composed of four lawmakers — each of whom has access to the state’s group health insurance plan — to discuss a possible healthcare solution for Tennesseans.
Yes, that’s it. That’s the “major announcement.” No Senators participated in today’s event. There’s no clear plan yet. And the task force members have yet to talk to the federal government, who must approve any plan before it can go forward.
In other words, Speaker Harwell called a press conference to announce she plans to do nothing to improve access to healthcare and that she won’t throw her support behind Governor Haslam’s plan.
Hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans are waiting for access to affordable health care and Beth Harwell’s response is that they should wait just a little longer and that maybe next year, there will be a plan. Then again, maybe not.
It’s time to take action. Take just a moment and contact Speaker Harwell right now. Tell her it’s time to move forward on Insure Tennessee. Her office phone number is 615-741-0709. Call her and tell her to get to work — we don’t need another task force, we don’t need more delays, we need Insure Tennessee.
For more on access to healthcare in Tennessee, follow @TNCitizenAction