TNCA Calls on ‘Conflicted Sen. Green’ to Resign from Commerce Cmte

Press release from Tennessee Citizen Action; April 1, 2015:

Today, we’re calling on Senator Mark Green to resign from the Senate Commerce Committee:

If Sen. Mark Green can’t vote on matters pertaining to health insurance, he doesn’t belong on the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee and should resign, Tennessee Citizen Action Executive Director Andy Spears said.

“We’re talking about issues that impact the health security of all Tennesseans and Mark Green can’t decide whether or not he should vote?” Spears said. “If he’s not sure he can do the job, he should resign and let someone who can do the job right take his place.”

Sen. Green was the only member of the Commerce Committee to abstain from voting yesterday on a crucial vote in support of Insure Tennessee, a plan to accept federal funding to make health insurance available to people who can’t afford it.

Sen. Green said that it was unethical for him to cast a vote, considering his employment as a doctor who helps run a private emergency department company.

It hasn’t stopped him before. Sen. Green has previously voted in favor of legislation with a direct financial benefit to the health care industry, including SB 441 in 2013, which authorized more than $1 billion in state funds to be paid to state hospitals to cover the costs of uncompensated care.

“Mark Green let the people of Tennessee down yesterday — but in 2013, he wasn’t afraid to cast a vote that would lead to more than $1 billion in benefits to the industry he serves. The health security of Tennesseans deserves better.”