Well Lets See If I Can Make Sense of What Happened

Well let’s see if I can make sense of what happened….. SB3498-HB3433 was the original Health Freedom Act. SB 3498 by *Beavers , Tracy, Black, Crowe, Norris, Johnson, Watson, Ramsey, Faulk, Yagerhealth *HB 3433 by *Bell , Weaver, Harwell, Carr, Williams, Dunn, McDaniel, Matheny, Maggart, Dean, Lynn, Campfield, Rich, Shipley, Brooks K, Watson, Floyd, Rowland, McManus, Coley, Lollar, Lundberg, Hawk, Eldridge, Johnson C, Cobb J, Mumpower, Niceley, Matlock, Faulkner, Hill, Halford, McCormick, Ford , Johnson P, West, Marsh, Haynes, Dennis, Swafford, White, Casada, Hensley, Evans As introduced, enacts “Tennessee Health Freedom Act.” On February 17, 2010, SB3498 passed the Senate floor 26-1-5.

After weeks of postponement HB3433 was finally heard in the House Budget Subcommittee in early June where Speaker Kent Williams cast the deciding vote AGAINST Rep. Mike Bell’s bill, thus killing it for this session. There was another vehicle that could be used to address the Health Care situation–SB2560-HB2622: SB 2560 by *Beavers , Black, Ramsey, Tracy, Gresham *HB 2622 by *Lynn , Maggart, Swafford, Hawk, Faulkner, Todd, Carr, Campfield, Johnson P, Hill, Johnson C, Halford, Rich, Eldridge, Cobb J, Evans, Matheny, Hensley, Niceley, McManus, Lollar, Brooks K, White As introduced, prohibits the legislature from requiring any person to participate in any health care system or plan. SB2560, was Sen. Diane Black’s bill and had never been run but had been left in the closed senate committee.

Anticipating the possibility of HB2622 passing the house, on Monday, Sen. Black was successful in using a Senate Rule to pull SB2560 out of the closed committee directly to the Senate Floor. Her motion passed 22-10 and she turned the bill over the Sen. Mae Beavers. Be the hardest, HB2622 finally made its way through the process and was on the House floor on Tuesday where after a rancorous debate , it passed 53-32 and was sent to the Senate. On Wednesday afternoon, the Senate took up SB2560, amending into it the language from SB3498-HB3433, which finally passed 22-9. Since the bills were now completely different, SB2560 was sent back to the House for them to ‘concur’ in the amendment. Rep. Lynn recommended ‘non-concurrence’.

The bill went back to the Senate where they refused to ‘recede’ from their action. The respective speakers appointed a Conference Committee: Senate: Senators Mae Beavers, Diane Black and Doug Jackson

House: Representatives Susan Lynn, Joe McCord and Gerald McCormick This committee met and agreed on a Conference Committee Report which can be seen HERE. About 10:30 Wednesday night Rep. Lynn presented the Conference report on the House floor and recommended that the House adopt it as the Action of the House. That motion failed 44-39. (Passage required 50 votes.) According the Rep. McCormick, members of the Governor’s staff had indicated that he would probably veto the act. Important note: Several House members were ‘excused’ and not in attendance this week more Republicans than Democrats and that certainly contributed to the defeat of this Report.

Late Try at Passing ‘Health Freedom Act’ Falls Six Votes Short

NASHVILLE – A late attempt to enact legislation requiring the state attorney general to file a lawsuit against a federal health care law fell six votes short of passage in the state House late Wednesday night. The vote came after a day of wrangling between the House and Senate over competing versions of the “Tennessee Health Freedom Act.” (HB2622) The House-approved version declared that it is state policy for citizens to have the right to either buy or refuse health care insurance, but does not directly address the national health care law. The Senate-approved version declared that Tennesseans can ignore the national law and directs the state attorney general to file a lawsuit to block implementation and defend citizens who refuse to obey the federal law. Attorney General Bob Cooper has opined that the Senate version is invalid and that he will not file a lawsuit. Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mount Juliet, said Gov. Phil Bredesen has indicated he would veto the Senate version. The bill is sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mount Juliet, who is being challenged by Lynn in her bid for re-election to the Senate. After a series of votes, the two chambers remained at loggerheads and a conference committee was appointed late Wednesday for an attempt to resolve the differences. The conference committee recommended keeping most of the Senate version, but deleting some portions – including the provision requiring the attorney general to represent individual citizens who oppose the federal health care law. But when the conference committee recommendation came up for a House floor vote, it got just 44 votes instead of the 50 needed to pass. Thirty-nine representatives voted against the measure. Other members either did not vote or had left the late night session.

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