Thank you for your email. First, let me state unequivocally: I am opposed to Obamacare in any form or fashion. I am a co-sponsor of Representative Jeremy Durham's legislation that was filed last year to ban Medicaid expansion. As the Chairman of the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee, I am keenly aware of the devastating effect Obamacare will be on our state's finances.
Rep. Charles SargentThat legislation was filed in early 2012, before the Supreme Court's decision was rendered and before the state knew the outcome of that case, or what ramifications it would have for the state. In essence, it was filed as 'placeholder' legislation, so that whatever happened--either from the federal government or Democrats in the legislature--we were considering the monetary impact and were in control of the bill. As the record shows, as soon as our bill filing deadline passed and none of that came to fruition, I withdrew it from consideration as it was no longer needed.Tennessee, and several other states, continue to stand up to the federal government and push back against its overreach. I am proud to stand with my Republican colleagues in the legislature to do everything we can to stop the continued federal overreach. We are fortunate to live in a state where the budget is balanced, the taxes are low, and we work toward implementing policies that are business friendly. The federal government should be trying to replicate what we're doing, not dictating failed policies to us.Again, Rod, thanks for reaching out to me on this. Contact me anytime.Charles SargentState Representative61st Legislative District206 War Memorial BuildingNashville, TN 37243
The explanation of his sponsorship of HB2839 sounds reasonable to me. I'm satisfied. Below is the information I asked Rep Sargent about and about which he is responding:
Press Release, BRENTWOOD, TN – Today, Steve Gawrys, Candidate for the 61st District House Seat is asking President Obama to learn from Tennessee’s economic successes when he visits here later this week.
“I’m pleased the President has chosen to come to Tennessee,” said Gawrys. “I’m more hopeful that he will learn something from what he finds here about Tennessee’s continuing economic success.”
Recently, Tennessee was named “State of the Year” by Business Facilities Magazine for its growing diverse economic base. Steve Gawrys is part of that business success as an entrepreneur and job creator in Williamson County. “The President has never taken a risk and hired an employee, so he has a lot to learn about growing an economy from Tennesseans,” said Gawrys.
Gawrys continued, “The first thing President Obama needs to learn is that his failed health insurance bill is destroying small businesses across America. One of the reasons I am in this State House race is that my opponent, Charles Sargent, sponsored the bill to establish the ObamaCare State Exchanges in Tennessee.” Gawrys is referring to HB2839 in which his opponent offered the legislation to support ObamaCare in Tennessee.
“Tennessee rejected Obama in the 2012 elections and they overwhelmingly reject his failed health insurance plan. We shouldn’t have Republicans in Tennessee supporting failed policies. I think the voters of District 61 deserve an explanation.”
In the last legislative session, the Tennessee General Assembly rejected the establishment of a State-sponsored health exchange. “I would have joined the majority and voted against such a federal overreach,” said Gawrys.
District 61 includes Brentwood, and parts of Cool Springs, Franklin, and unincorporated Williamson County.