TNDP’s Mancini: Gardenhire Comment Shows ‘Serious Lack of Character’

Press Release fro the Democratic party of Tennessee, April 1, 2015:

Sen. Gardenhire Curses at Insure TN Supporter; Calls supporter “***hole” after being asked if he would keep his healthcare

Nashville, Tenn. (April 1, 2015) – Yesterday, after voting against Insure Tennessee, Republican State Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga), was filmed calling an Insure Tennessee supporter an “asshole.” The comment came in response to a question about whether Gardenhire planned to keep his own insurance after voting to deny healthcare to 300,000 hard working Tennesseans.

“Sen. Gardenhire showed he had no compassion when he voted twice to deny healthcare to over a quarter of a million hardworking Tennesseans,” said Mary Mancini, Chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party, “Sen. Gardenhire showed he had no common sense when he voted twice to turn down over a billion dollars in federal funding to ensure that rural hospitals in Tennessee can stay open. Now Sen. Gardenhire has shown a serious lack of character after calling a fellow Tennessean an a**hole.”

Insure Tennessee would have expanded Medicaid coverage to include 300,000 Tennesseans currently without access to healthcare. Originally introduced through the Governor’s office during a special session, the bill was killed by a committee that included Sen. Gardenhire and that was stacked with other no votes by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey. This new bill was heard during the regular session in another attempt to provide healthcare to those currently without access.

“It’s enormously apparent that Senator Gardenhire, who had two health insurance plans to choose from at one time (the state employee plan and a private plan), and who is an elected official who works for the people of Chattanooga, can’t handle being held accountable for his votes,” Mancini said.

Senator Gardenhire had claimed during the special session that he was not on the state’s health care plan, only to later admit that he was a member of the taxpayer subsidized plan