Press Release from Tennessee State Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, Feb. 18, 2014:
Kelsey’s “Stop Obamacare Act” Moves to the Senate Floor
(NASHVILLE, TN), February 18, 2014 – During today’s Senate Commerce and Labor Committee meeting, Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) successfully argued for passage of the Stop Obamacare Act. The bill will now make its way to the Senate floor for a vote as early as next Monday, February 24. The current version of the bill requires the Governor to receive approval from the General Assembly through joint resolution before expanding Medicaid under Obamacare.
“In 1981, Congress reduced its Medicaid funding match to help cut the federal budget deficit, and with over $17 trillion of debt, I suspect they’ll do it again,” said Sen. Kelsey. “That would leave state taxpayers to foot the bill and I am determined not to let that happen.”
In June 2012 the United States Supreme Court ruled in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius that states have the right to opt out of Medicaid expansion without losing pre-existing federal Medicaid funding. Under the Medicaid expansion envisioned by the Obamacare, Tennessee is estimated to pay $200 million a year for its 10% share to expand Medicaid to individuals with incomes up to 138% of the poverty level. The federal government promised to pay 100% of the expansion cost for the first three years, diminishing to only 90% in future years.
“Tennessee Taxpayers simply can’t afford $200 million a year to expand TennCare,” said Sen. Kelsey. “This bill will ensure that Tennessee budgets remain fiscally sound for years to come.”
Other states that have opted not to expand their Medicaid programs have also cited their doubt that the federal government will keep its promised level of funding, thus leaving state taxpayers to foot the bill.
Senator Kelsey represents Cordova, East Memphis, and Germantown. He is Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.