The Tennessee Medical Association on Wednesday announced results of a national survey showing that office-based physicians in Tennessee contribute $17.5 billion to the economy and support more than 75,000 jobs.
Those figures — pulled from the study conducted by the American Medical Association — could be improved if the state approves Gov. Haslam's tort reform proposal.
"A survey by the American Medical Association proves that Tennessee's physicians offices are big contributors to our state's economic engine," said TMA President B.W. Ruffner. "If we are going to keep the doctors we have and attract new ones, we must pass these additional reforms to help reduce the threat of lawsuits and improve our overall business climate."
According to the report, which uses 2009 figures, office-based physicians s upport 75,191 jobs in Tennessee and contribute $17.5 billion in economic output (about 7.2 percent of the total GDP). In addition, they generate about $543 milllion in state and local taxes and provide more than $24 billion in charity care.
For more on the issue, see WPLN's coverage of the tort reform debate.
Andy Sher has canvassed a number of the players involved in the push to extend last year's hospital fee program that helped deliver millions in federal aid for TennCare. It's a pretty safe bet the 2011 plan will pass, but it appears some Democrats might raise a bit of a stink when the time comes for a vote.
“I think we’ve got to or else we’re really in a lot of trouble financially,” McCormick said. “I think Democrats may play politics a little bit.”
He said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner told him there was “resistance” among minority Democrats to extending and expanding the fee, first implemented at hospitals’ request last year.
“He would not commit to me they were going to be in favor of it,” McCormick said.
The governor is proposing a third path on pseudophedrine policy:
The third way idea, he said, is to go ahead with approval of the tracking system legislation now, but also have the Legislature enact a bill authorizing the state health commissioner to order the drugs sold by prescription only after consulting with the commissioner of mental health. The Haslam administration has introduced a bill as part of its 2011 legislative package that would grant such authority to the health commissioner (HB1990).
"We think that might be a preferable alternative," Haslam said.
The commissioner could wait for a year to see if the tracking system has been effective in curbing use of the drugs in producing meth, the governor said.
"If they (commissioners) feel like the database isn't working," Haslam said, the next step would be to mandate sales by prescription only.
Radio Free MJ on the unexpected post-election surge of support for Mike McWherter in one of Wilson County's most Republican precincts:
In Wilson County, according to the unofficial results posted at 10:31pm on the website of the Wilson County Election Commission, Haslam received 25,024 votes to McWherter’s 8,650. McWherter won only 2 of the 37 polling places across the county. The results at Mt. Juliet High School were typical – Haslam got 547 votes to WcWherter’s 144. West Wilson County is, after all, very Republcian.
Something changed between election night and the certification of the election results several weeks later. The certified results turned in to the Tennessee Secretary of State showed a remarkable result for McWherter at Mt Juliet High School. According to the certified returns, in that one precinct, McWherter received 8,045 votes, beating Haslam’s total of 547 almost 15 to 1!
This was an especially astonishing result, given that the Election Commission’s unofficial returns showed only 1,379 voters registered to vote at Mt. Juliet High School. The difference between the election night unofficial returns and the certified returns from Nov 16th almost doubled McWherter’s vote total for the whole county, to 16,625. Still not enough to beat Haslam’s 25,217 but making the race much closer.
Gov. Bill Halsam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty today announced the creation of a new $32 million manufacturing facility in Manchester, Tenn.
VICAM, a new subsidiary of Japanese company Japan Vilene Company, will use the facility to produce polyester-based carpet fiber for use in car doors and seats. The 44,000-square-foot plant, managed by VIAM Manufacturing, will be located on a 12-acre site and is scheduled to open in January. The project is expected to create 70 jobs.
“Governor Haslam and I are focused on how we can best retain and grow jobs in Tennessee, and VICAM’s new facility will certainly help us further that goal,” said Hagerty. “It is a testament to Tennessee and Coffee County’s attractiveness to business when companies with an established presence in our state like VIAM Manufacturing help create new jobs and encourage new ventures.”
At Rutherford County's Reagan Day, the governor disabuses folks of the notion that Republicans hate teachers:
"We want to help the teachers that are doing great things, and the ones that aren't we would encourage to seek other professions," he said, later referencing that teachers who receive two years of incompetent teaching marks should not be in front of our students.