Beacon Center has radio ad attacking Insure Tennessee (and it’s criticized)

News release from Beacon Center of Tennessee:
The Beacon Center of Tennessee today launched a radio ad ahead of the legislative debate over a Medicaid expansion. Amid massive spending by expansion proponents—led by the hospitals that will benefit from the expansion—state lawmakers will convene next Monday to vote on Gov. Haslam’s proposed expansion of Medicaid to more than 200,000 able-bodied adults.

The 60-second ad, titled “That’s Just Not Fair,” features a discussion between a senior citizen and her daughter about the proposed Medicaid expansion. It is running on radio stations in the Knoxville media market. You can listen to the full ad here.

“As lawmakers consider expanding Medicaid in our state under Obamacare, it’s important to realize how we got here, and what the consequences of that decision will be,” said Beacon CEO Justin Owen. “Ultimately, Congress made cuts to Medicare to fund other parts of Obamacare, including the expansion of Medicaid in the states. As the ad notes, that’s just not fair to our seniors.”

Here is the full text of the one-minute radio spot, “That’s Just Not Fair”:

Mom: Hey Amy, I heard state lawmakers will be voting to expand Medicaid here soon. What’s that all about?
Amy: It would mean giving government health insurance to more than 200,000 able-bodied Tennesseans under Obamacare.
Mom: Well, even if they’re able-bodied, it’s free federal money so what’s the big deal?
Amy: There’s no such thing as a free lunch, mom. In fact, the Medicaid expansion will be paid in part by $716 billion in cuts to seniors’ Medicare benefits.
Mom: To give health insurance to able-bodied adults?
Amy: You got it.
Mom: If they’re able-bodied, they can get a job…I can’t. And they want me to pay for them? That’s just not fair.
Amy: Well, that’s why it’s important for our state lawmakers to say no to Obama’s Medicaid expansion.
Mom: I agree. Don’t make seniors pay for more Obamacare in Tennessee. That’s just not fair.
To learn more about how a Medicaid expansion will impact your family, visit That’s


UPDATE/NOTE: Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee, which backs Haslam’s Insure Tennessee plan and is running radio ads in support, sends this email response to the Beacon ad:

“For those opposed Insure Tennessee, the only line of attack is to try to make a link to Obamacare. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“Gov. Bill Haslam has proposed a plan to improve health care for the working poor in Tennessee – more than 60 percent of those eligible for Insure Tennessee go to work at a job every day. Insure Tennessee does not reduce Medicare benefits for seniors.

“It is time for a down home, Tennessee approach to health care reform – market-based solutions that provide health insurance to Tennesseans and inject new revenues into our state economy.”

Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee