In a ninth inning push to protect Tennesseans from the penalty provisions of Obamacare, the state Senate made an unprecedented move to recall from committee SB2560, the companion bill to Rep. Susan Lynn’s Health Care Freedom Act (HB2622). If passed, HB2622 will write into law a policy statement for all Tennesseans that health care mandates or penalties for defying such mandates may not be carried out in the state of Tennessee. The bill is model legislation written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in response to the passage of the federal health care mandate.
Two other Health Care Freedom Acts that would have protected Tennesseans from the penalty provisions of the new federal health care mandate were defeated in the Budget Subcommittee of the House Finance, Ways & Means committee last week. One was an amendment to the state constitution (HJR745 by Rep. Susan Lynn) and the second was a bill that had already passed the Senate (HB3433/SB3498 by Rep. Mike Bell and Sen. Mae Beavers).
After last week, Rep. Lynn’s HB2622 is the only Health Care Freedom bill left standing, having successfully maneuvered its way through the House committees to the House floor, but Sen. Diane Black had not run the companion bill in the Senate. Because the Senate committees were already closed for this session, SB2560 had to be recalled from committee to the Senate floor. The bill was originally scheduled for a vote in the Senate on Saturday, but due to the absence of Sen. Black, the bill was rolled to a later date.