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Nightmare Tennessee bill could force hospitals to ban only Obamacare website users

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Tennessee lawmakers who are doing their best to stop President Barack Obama’s health care law have introduced a bill that could have the unintended consequence of forcing hospitals to verify and ban patients if they purchased insurance through the Healthcare.gov website.

At a press conference on Wednesday, state Sen. Mae Beavers (R) and state Rep. Mark Pody (R) announced legislation that would prevent any state agency from cooperating in any way with the Affordable Care Act.

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“The federal government does not have constitutional authority to commandeer state and local governments to enforce or implement these federal health care mandates,” Beavers explained. “This legislation takes a very strong stand to resist this federal overreach of power.”

Beavers said that it was not immediately clear how the law would affect the more than 36,000 Tennesseans who had already purchased insurance through the federal health care exchanges. And would also cause problems for Tennessee’s Medicaid program, TennCare, which uses the HealthCare.gov website.

The bill would make it illegal for state and local officials to “assist in implementing” anything to do with the federal law. Employees and contractors in local, state and education institutions would be forbid from using the health care exchanges.

But the Nashville Scene‘s Betsy Phillips pointed out that the wording of the legislation could also put university hospitals in the difficult position of having to verify how a person purchased coverage because the same plans are often available through the Healthcare.gov website and directly through insurance companies.

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“The real question, and one that Beavers and Pody haven’t addressed is what ‘no powers, assets, employees, agents or contractors of the state or its local government subdivisions, including higher education institutions, can be used to implement or administer the federal health care program’ means, specifically, what ‘implement or administer’ in this context means,” Phillips wrote.

“So, say this law passes and I bought my insurance through the Obamacare website. Now, say I show up at the University of Tennessee Medical Center (a higher education institution) with my Obamacare-procured insurance and an emergency,” she continued. “Could the hospital take my insurance or would that be aiding in the implementation (since I don’t really, practically, have insurance unless a hospital will take it) or administering (since the hospital’s billing department will have to work with my Obamacare-procured insurance company in order to get paid) of the Affordable Care Act?”

“Since the law ’empowers the General Assembly to enact sanctions, fines and penalties for violation of the proposed law and gives the state’s Attorney General the right to file a lawsuit against violators,’ will hospitals have to figure out not only if patients have insurance but how they got it before they risk treating them?” Phillips wondered.

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Watch this video from the Times Free Press, broadcast Nov. 15, 2013.


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The View’s audience boos Mick Mulvaney’s confession — and laughs when he denies video evidence

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The audience on "The View" reacted in anger and then mockery to White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney's confession to Ukraine quid pro quo -- and then his denial of what he plainly said on video.

President Donald Trump's chief staffer admitted during a press briefing that the White House held up congressionally approved aid to Ukraine as leverage to get the foreign ally to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory.

"We do that all the time with foreign policy, and I have news for everybody," Mulvaney told reporters. "Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy."

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The View hosts shudder at creepy-crawly accounts of bedbugs at Trump’s club hosting G7

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President Donald Trump awarded a government contract to his struggling Florida resort to host next year's G7 summit, and "The View" co-hosts cringed at accounts of the club's bedbug infestation.

The White House insists the president won't make money off the deal, but whatever free advertising he's getting from the most likely unconstitutional venture is being undercut by reminders of a settlement Trump Organization reached with a guest who was bitten by bedbugs.

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GOP lawmaker hammers Trump for Ukraine server conspiracy theory: ‘Are we trying to exculpate Russia?’

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Rep. Francis Rooney (R-OK) on Friday signaled that he was taking House Democrats' impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump far more seriously than many of his Republican colleagues.

During an interview with CNN's Poppy Harlow, Rooney said he was very disturbed at the president's efforts to prove a debunked conspiracy theory about Ukraine purportedly being behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee in 2016, despite the fact that all evidence that has been uncovered points directly to Russia as the true culprit.

Harlow then asked him what he made about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) comment that "all roads" in the Ukraine scandal lead back to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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