NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) won passage of legislation Wednesday in the Senate Government Operations Committee calling for Tennessee to join an interstate compact with the express purpose of returning the responsibility and authority for regulating health care to the states. Senate Bill 406 provides a legal framework in which states can create their own healthcare systems.
“An interstate health care compact is a powerful vehicle for states to confront the federal health care law mandated byWashingtondirectly,” said Senator Beavers. “One size does not fit all. States have different needs which are not recognized in the federal mandates. The Health Care Compact does not mandate how states will handle health care within their boundaries. It leaves them to decide how to create a system that fits their needs, providing greater accountability and more flexibility in delivering citizens a more efficient and effective system.”
If approved by Congress, the bill essentially provides a permanent waiver to each member state to create whatever healthcare regulations the legislature deems best for the citizens of that state. The structure protects healthcare funding by allowing member states to access federal tax revenues directly and without strings attached. Beavers said the combination of a secure funding stream and maximum flexibility for state legislators will create the conditions for health care multiple solutions to emerge.
“This gives us another option in the future for delivering health care,” added Beavers. “I hope the General Assembly will approve this bill and give us an opportunity to make this option a reality.”
The bill now goes to the Senate Health and Welfare Committee for their consideration.