by Jeff Woods
Meanwhile, in what will come as a real buzz kill for Kelsey, Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey was telling reporters that Kelsey’s bill is going nowhere, not this year anyway. Gov. Bill Haslam insists he’s giving “careful thought and consideration” to this issue and not until he’s finished thinking will the legislature do anything, Ramsey said.
Ramsey himself confessed he couldn’t care less when something’s decided. As far as he’s concerned, the only real issue is whether hospitals are telling the truth when they say it’ll put many of them out of business if the state refuses to expand Medicaid.
“Hospitals will be left in the lurch,” Ramsey acknowledged. “But hospitals are notorious for inflating numbers and what the true problem is. The governor is working hard with experts to figure out what is the true cost, the exact cost and not take for granted what the hospitals are saying is true.”
As for the hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans waiting to learn whether they will become eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, Ramsey never mentioned them. To Ramsey, apparently, these people might as well not exist.
“I’m in no hurry,” he said of the timetable for a decision. “I don’t know. Whenever. There’s no deadline. There’s no reason to do it anytime unless the hospitals want it done.”