NASHVILLE, April 13, 2015 — Legislation sponsored by State Representative Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro) and co-sponsored by Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) designed to better support the healthcare needs of military men and women across the state moved forward this week as the House State Government Subcommittee voted unanimously in support of the bill.
As amended, House Bill 425 authorizes healthcare providers who are in the National Guard to provide volunteer clinic services in a Tennessee military armory for those in need. Currently, no authorization is in place that allows these military members to provide such care.
“As a primary co-sponsor of this legislation, I want to ensure that our armed service members have the greatest access to care we can provide them,” said Holt. “It really upset me to see our veterans being used as political capital by special interest groups that wanted to expand Obamacare in Tennessee this year. Our veterans are not pawns on a chessboard. I promised to do all I could to stop Obamacare, not expand it. However, that doesn’t mean we are not actively seeking solutions on the state level to solve our healthcare problems. This legislation provides a path for increased access to care by cutting government bureaucracy, rather than expanding it.”
Once passed by both chambers and signed into law by Governor Haslam, the new program will be referred to as the Mission Tennessee for Veterans Program.
“Our military goes on missions around the world. Healthcare providers go on medical missions around the world. Why not give the authority of healthcare providers in the National Guard to provide limited primary healthcare in a Tennessee armory?” said Representative Terry. “With all the talk of veterans falling through the cracks or receiving delayed care, I believe Mission Tennessee for Veterans will be a positive step forward in helping our veterans and military members receive the care they both need and deserve.”
The legislation is currently scheduled for the Calendar committees in the House and Senate. Then it should go to the floor for a full vote.