Nashville: Health care bill a no-go this year

Nashville: Health care bill a no-go this year

April 27th, 2011 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

NASHVILLE - A key House sponsor of a Republican-backed bill seeking to let Tennessee join a proposed interstate health care compact says the bill won't be pursued until next year.

The bill has been seen as a rejection of President Barack Obama's health care reform by Democrats. It sought to let states form alliances and take control of federal health spending and programs.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal recently signed a similar bill passed by lawmakers there.

Tennessee Rep. Glen Casada, R-College Grove, said he took the bill off notice because its primary sponsor, Rep. Mark White, R-Memphis, had a death in his family and time is running out in the House Health and Human Resources Committee.

"It's just going to have to wait until next year," Casada said. "Time has caught us."

Democrats have attacked the bill several fronts, saying it could put the Republican-led General Assembly in charge of Medicare in Tennessee.

Last week, House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, said he didn't think the legislation was a "real issue" because it would have required Congress' approval.

"It's not going to happen," McCormick told reporters. "The federal government's not going to turn Medicare over to the states."