Once again, Governor Haslam has proven he is a man of principle. He took his time to thoroughly research this issue and gather all the facts. Instead of merely providing an answer that was politically motivated, he dutifully went about the business of being a true leader.
The party's executive director, Brent Leatherwood, struck back at Democratic Reps. Craig Fitzhugh and Mike Turner as hypocrites for criticizing Haslam. Leatherwood pointed out Fitzhugh voted to toss tens of thousands of people off the TennCare rolls to save money in 2005 when Phil Bredesen was governor, and Turner voted present.
"Essentially, the guys complaining the loudest are the same individuals responsible for voting to cut TennCare in the first place. It's blatant hypocrisy," Leatherwood said. "Leader Fitzhugh is asking about 'real leadership.' But, if this is so important, where was that leadership when he voted for the budget that cut TennCare funding in 2005?
"And I see, per usual, Rep. Turner is up in arms. He is saying he feels 'bold leadership' is needed or else 'lives of the working poor' will be lost. Well, according to that same vote sheet, apparently bold leadership by Mike Turner is defined as voting 'present.'"
A statement from Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey:
Without bold reform of the Medicaid program tailored to Tennessee's unique situation, there can be no compromise on this issue. Four out of every 10 dollars the federal government spends comes out of the back pockets of future generations. Tennessee must receive assurances that have not been forthcoming. Governor Haslam has laid out a plan for what true health care reform looks like. I commend him for his continued thoughtful and measured approach to this complex issue.