Insure Tennessee revival dies in committee

Leisa Wiley holds a sign during a mock funeral to show anger and opposition for the vote that killed Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans. Dozens joined the march in downtown Chattanooga on Tuesday in support of the uninsured. The march centered around the fact that state Sen. Todd Gardenhire and six other Republican senators whose votes killed the proposal have state-subsidized coverage themselves.
photo Tracy Foster, center, of Clinton, Tenn., cries after Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal was voted down by the Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday in Nashville. Foster is a cancer patient who has no insurance. The proposal to extend health coverage to about 280,000 low-income Tennesseans was defeated 6-2.

NASHVILLE -- Insure Tennessee failed in the senate commerce committee this afternoon

The vote was 6-2 against with one abstention.

Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, and Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, voted against the measure that sought to use federal dollars under the Affordable Care Act to extend health insurance coverage to an estimated 280,000 low-income Tennesseans.

After presentations by two Republican senators, including the resolution's sponsor, Sen. Doug Overbey, R-Maryville, only one committee member, Sen. Dolores Gresham, R-Somerville, asked a question.

Overbey closed and the panel quickly voted without discussion.

Until then, the committee room, packed with supporters, had kept quiet. Afterwards, one man shouted, "I hope you people realize how many people you sentenced to die today."

A woman yelled, "Vote 'em out."