Would It Really Cost $6.5 Billion To Keep Tennessee Out Of The Healthcare Overhaul?

"According to the Bureau of TennCare, $6,500,000,000 in federal financial participation could be eliminated," the cost projection says. "This extent of funding not going into the economy could have an adverse impact and could decrease the number of jobs in both the short and long term." (SB1888, via capitol.tn.gov)

“According to the Bureau of TennCare, $6,500,000,000 in federal financial participation could be eliminated,” the cost projection says. “This extent of funding not going into the economy could have an adverse impact and could decrease the number of jobs in both the short and long term.” (SB1888, via capitol.tn.gov)

Six billion dollars.  That’s the estimated cost of a proposal from Tennessee lawmakers to bar the state from having anything to do with the federal healthcare overhaul.  A vote on the bill was postponed in a committee meeting Tuesday.

Neither Sen. Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) nor Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) seemed to know quite what to say about the astronomical cost projection, known as a “fiscal note.”

Johnson: “$6.5… billion?”
Beavers: “Billion.”
Johnson: “That’s the largest fiscal note I’ve ever seen…”
Beavers: “Surely there’s some kind of an award for this one.”

Beavers says she’ll talk with state officials to find out why the cost is so high.

The proposal wouldn’t stop people buying insurance through the federal government, but it would block the state and its agencies from doing anything to implement the federal healthcare law.

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