Statement on the Failure of Insure Tennessee Plan

Statement of State Representative John Ray Clemmons

February 4, 2015 4:45pm
Today’s catastrophic failure of Governor Haslam’s Insure Tennessee plan is a tragedy on many levels.  It is incredibly disheartening to me, in my first week of service in the Tennessee House of Representatives, to witness a dysfunctional system that is unable to get such an important piece of legislation to the floor of the House or the Senate where the voice of the people could be heard. I have witnessed firsthand, the unfortunate tragedy of elected officials placing partisan politics above people's lives. 
Hard working Tennessee families will suffer because of today’s failure.  People will die because of this failure of leadership at the highest levels. Veterans, social workers, and rural hospitals, as well as their employees, will all suffer because of the short sighted political gamesmanship and seven votes on a single senate committee. 
I urge Governor Haslam to immediately begin working with me and other legislators who are prepared to roll up our sleeves and create a plan to make health care accessible and affordable for working families in the “coverage gap”. We cannot give up. This is too important to too many Tennessee families.   
The ultimate tragedy will be if those of us who care deeply about providing health care to working families stop working on this issue. I pledge to dedicate myself anew to right this wrong. Just as I stated in the Health Committee yesterday, I am here to stand up for Tennessee families, and I encourage my colleagues to join me.