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.