Ramsey Rages Against Obamacare



Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey went on a rant against President Obama and the Affordable Care Act yesterday, telling reporters that the legislature will refuse to expand Medicaid even if the governor makes a deal with Washington.

“We’re not going to do it,” Ramsey said in what seem to be final-nail-in-the-coffin comments for Haslam’s “Tennessee Plan.”

As usual, Ramsey displayed a general lack of understanding of how the Affordable Care Act is supposed to work, spouting illogical conclusions throughout his tirade. "Whatever," he said at one point when a reporter tried to interrupt.

I would absolutely love to see a middle plan where people would be covered. But they have to pay co-payments, that they have to limit the number of doctor visits they can take, that they have to have some personal responsibility on their own to follow a health plan, lose weight, keep their diabetes under control and stop smoking. I’m all for that.

But this administration is not going to let that happen. I truly think they don’t trust Tennessee, a red state, to take care of people that need health care. The irony is they’re sure not doing it either. I have never seen a bigger train wreck in my life than this. I think that goes to show that we made the right decision in not expanding our Medicaid rolls. Because if they can’t run their own website, can’t run their own exchange, how in the world can they tell us how to do it using those same rules. I think this cannot be fixed.

Of course, Ramsey's opposition might not matter since, as we pointed out here yesterday, Haslam’s “Tennessee Plan” seems fictitious anyway. In Memphis Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she’s yet to see a formal proposal from the governor after seven months of supposedly intense negotiations. Ramsey defended Haslam.

“I know he’s talked to her,” Ramsey said. “He’s told me on several occasions. Bill Haslam’s not going to lie to me. It’s my understanding when they talk it’s like, ‘Don’t even try. You’re wasting your time. Don’t worry about it.’ ”

“Right now if they said yes I would not do it,” the Senate speaker added. “I’d let all this stuff play out for about two years and figure out what happened because it is bad.”

One reporter pointed out things are going swimmingly in Kentucky, which is running its own exchange. But Ramsey waved away that inconvenient fact and carried on, yelling at times as he castigated the president. The speaker obviously has been watching a little too much Fox News lately.

“I don’t know about Kentucky. I really don’t,” Ramsey said. “I just know this whole thing is a train wreck. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. How can you say literally 24 times you will be able to keep the coverage you have now. He’s been somewhat held accountable. But if that were George Bush I think he’d be not thrown under the bus. They would have backed over him three times.”

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