Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen is a Democrat who has already called congressional health-reform efforts “the mother of all unfunded mandates.” Now he’s estimating that the Baucus bill could dump $3 billion in unfunded mandates on his state over a five-year period. Reports the Chattanooga Times Free Press:
“I’m glad they’re trying to do it without increasing the federal deficit, that certainly is important,” said Gov. Bredesen, a Democrat who has been critical of the plan’s impact on states. “But to turn around and increase the state deficits as the way to handle it that does not seem a very appropriate way to do that.”
The point is that Democrats’ plans will increase deficits, whether that happens at the federal or state level.
Bredesen has some experience with public options, as he has spent the last seven years trying to rein in Tennessee’s version of ObamaCare, TennCare. There’s a nice summary of the problems TennCare has faced — and its similarities and differences with federal health legislation — here.
Also, moderate Democrats are still holding their ground despite Maine Republican Olympia Snowe’s vote for the Baucus bill in committee.