published Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Nashville: Health care bill a no-go this year

NASHVILLE — A key House sponsor of a Republican-backed bill seeking to let Tennessee join a proposed interstate health care compact says the bill won’t be pursued until next year.

The bill has been seen as a rejection of President Barack Obama’s health care reform by Democrats. It sought to let states form alliances and take control of federal health spending and programs.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal recently signed a similar bill passed by lawmakers there.

Tennessee Rep. Glen Casada, R-College Grove, said he took the bill off notice because its primary sponsor, Rep. Mark White, R-Memphis, had a death in his family and time is running out in the House Health and Human Resources Committee.

“It’s just going to have to wait until next year,” Casada said. “Time has caught us.”

Democrats have attacked the bill several fronts, saying it could put the Republican-led General Assembly in charge of Medicare in Tennessee.

Last week, House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, said he didn’t think the legislation was a “real issue” because it would have required Congress’ approval.

“It’s not going to happen,” McCormick told reporters. “The federal government’s not going to turn Medicare over to the states.”

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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