Dear Governor Haslam:
This is my new second letter to you.
I asked a friend what he thought about “Insure Tennessee.” His answer was simple. “It’s the only train living the station. The only choice is stay or go…stay or go.”
I dont see how anyone could choose to stay. I really dont.
I have been very disturbed by what I have read about the legislative response to your call for a special session on “Insure Tennessee.” You have a lieutenant governor who wants to tell the House what to do. It sounds like what he is really hoping they say no so he wont have to publicly say yes. You have a Speaker who is hoping soon to send a survey to her constituents to find out if they are interested. You have a majority leader in the House who says if the lt. governor is going to tell the House what to do there wont be a special session. You have a majority leader in the Senate who is not sure he wants to introduce the resolution. You have two Tea Party guys thinking ahead and trying to outlaw Tennessee even thinking about running a state exchange if the Supreme Court case goes badly. Virtually every other legislator is being quiet while they “study” your proposal (really trying to figure out what it is politically safe to publicly say). The Democrats are saying if you dont give them some attention that many of them may not vote for it because they want something better (they missed the only train part). Enthusiasm for “Insure Tennessee” seems to be in remarkably short supply as the political atmosphere gets more and more confused. It does not inspire confidence.
Meanwhile virtually every public organization, every newspaper, every everything has come out enthusiastically for Insure Tennessee. It is they say for a thousand reasons a no brainer. The only real question seems to be whether or not legislators are afraid they will be tarred with the Obamacare brush. And who will tell the others the water is safe and telling them to come on in.
The people in the coverage gap are excited and hope there really will be a law to insure Tennessee. They hope the last month is stage fright and the best is yet to come. I hope they are right.
I hope you continue to push. Tennessee needs strong leadership. Tennessee needs you. It is the only train leaving the station and my prayer is that all the seats will be full.
My prayers my support and my best wishes are with you.
Until next time.
Dear Governor Haslam:
This is my new first letter to you.
I honestly thought this blog had served its purpose and it was time to trust the process. Insure Tennessee is the best thing you have done as governor. For many, many reasons it is the best thing. The active support you have received since then has been gratifying for me to see. Tennesseans from every walk, from every strata of Tennessee have stepped forward. Not only is Insure Tennessee the smart thing to do but it is the right thing to do. It is Tennessee for all Tennesseans.
I knew there would be a fight and I am okay with that. But in recent days I have read much and heard much that bothers me. People whose judgement I trust tell me there is more than a little chance Insure Tennessee will never get to the point of an up or down vote in the legislature. There is a chance they tell me it will die in a House committee. Outrage doesnt begin to describe my reaction.
For a small group of people to still the voices of everyone is an attack on the integrity of Tennessee. Regardless of how people feel about Insure Tennessee everyone should be for a straight up or down vote. We are all victimized by less than that.
You are the Governor and this is now about so much more than Insure Tennessee (which you know is everything to me). You have been asked to submit a plan and you have submitted a plan. And for that plan not to receive full consideration of all the legislature is a robbery not just of your voice but that of every Tennessean.
I hope you will speak loudly to this issue and urge your supporters to do the same. Tennessee for Tennesseans. We all deserve that. We deserve to hear the sense of the people and not just political maneuvers.
Until next time.