Tennessee House of Representatives press release, Dec. 21, 2009:
On Monday, State Representatives Susan Lynn (R-Lebanon) and Debra Young Maggart (R-Hendersonville) asked Tennessee State Attorney General Robert Cooper to prepare to take the appropriate legal action against the federal government in the event HR 3200, the controversial federal healthcare reform legislation, passes into law.
The legislators requested this action in order to grant Tennessee relief from the unfunded mandate contained in the bill that Tennessee complies with the expansion of the federal Medicaid program.
The letter notes that under the bill Tennessee would be forced to expand the state’s Medicaid program potentially costing the citizens of the state $1.4 billion dollars in additional state taxpayer funds annually.
“Such an increase would place a great burden on the citizens of this state. It is clear by the wording of the legislation itself that not every state would face a similar and equal burden,” stated Rep. Debra Maggart.
Lynn explained that, “We see this as a violation of equal protection of the law, an affront to our sovereignty, and as a breach of the U.S. Constitution.”
Lynn and Maggart noted that the passage of this bill is imminent so it is important that the AG prepare now to take immediate action, and they referenced Governor Bredesen’s recent comment that “we can’t print money.” The great issue for the states is that states are not allowed to borrow money for operations expenses. “Obviously, this is something that many in Washington just don’t understand,” stated Lynn.