U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN-7th Dist.) addressed a group of 15 NFIB members and community leaders from the Lawrenceburg area, stressing Senate action on healthcare reform and other reform bills must happen soon. The event was hosted by NFIB member Jonathan Edwards with Edwards Oil Co.
Noting the House has passed 400 bills and the Senate has passed about 100, Blackburn didn’t mince words about her district’s frustration with inaction.
“The Senate needs to, as my mother used to say, ‘Show some spine,’” she said.
Blackburn said she continues to fight for “patient-centered care,” which is a reason she introduced H.R. 314, which allows association health plans. Blackburn said repeal of Obamacare must happen and challenged opponents’ claims that 23 million people will lose their health insurance. The congressman said according to CMS that 10.3 million people, or only 3.2 percent of the population, are in the exchange as of March 2017, with 200,000 Tennesseans counted. She noted 6.5 million people chose to pay the penalty or seek a waiver, and 12.7 million received an exemption.
Blackburn echoed what several NFIB members in Memphis said a few days earlier. “The Senate should get rid of cloture,” she said, and allow up or down votes and avoid the process of reconciliation. Guest Blake Lay expressed concern the Senate’s healthcare bill originally bypassed the committee system.
Tax reform was also discussed. “In a nutshell, we’re going [to make the tax brackets] flatter,” she said, noting relief and fairness for LLCs, subchapter S-corps and partnerships is very important.
NFIB members State Sen. Joey Hensley and State Rep. Barry Doss joined the discussion and praised NFIB for its work to protect small businesses at the federal and state levels.