Legislation Proposes Mandating Price Transparency for Tennessee Healthcare Services

Legislators are proposing to make the prices for healthcare services and treatments available to patients up front. The legislation would require certain healthcare facilities and providers to post a list of all services provided with their cost. It would also mandate that any payments made in full within 30 days of services rendered be accepted if they match the listing price at the time of care. 

The bill would regulate healthcare providers under title 63, except for veterinarians and occupational and physical therapists. State Representative Jason Hodges (D-Clarksville) first filed this bill last week. Freshman State Senator Sara Kyle (D-Memphis) filed the companion bill on Monday.

Read More

Commentary: The Republican Ship of Fools Sails On

In what CNN’s Chris Cillizza accurately described as a “gut punch” to the GOP’s Trumpian faction, the House Republican Conference decided against removing Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump. Republicans voted 145-61 on a secret ballot in Cheney’s favor.

Cillizza zeroed in on Florida Republican Matt Gaetz, an ardent defender of the former president. “Make no mistake,” he wrote, “Gaetz, Trump, and the rest of that crowd wanted to make an example of Cheney. They, rightly, viewed her impeachment vote—and the ensuing controversy—as the first major battle for control of the post-Trump Republican Party.” He also notes that “Trump had released a poll last month purporting to show Cheney in trouble in Wyoming for her impeachment vote.” And according to The Dispatch’s Stephen Hayes, Trump was “calling R House members to encourage them to sack Cheney.”

Read More

Commentary: Teachers Unions’ Selfish, Unscientific COVID Response

Clarity and consensus among medical professionals has been hard to find on many issues related to COVID-19 policy, so it’s much appreciated when something appears to be clear-cut and universally agreed upon. In today’s sound-bite world, it can be dizzying trying to keep up. Thankfully, a consensus has emerged around one topic that is tremendously important to all Americans: school reopening. The verdict is coming in: time to get the kids back in the classroom.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, has been clear as a bell on this issue. During a recent briefing, she said, “There is increasing data to suggest that schools can safely reopen and that safe reopening does not suggest that teachers need to be vaccinated in order to reopen safely.” She went on to definitively state that “Vaccination of teachers is not a prerequisite for the safe reopening of schools.” These comments are completely in line with those from her colleague at the CDC, Dr. Margaret Honein, Ph.D., who was recently first author on an elegant viewpoint for the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Honein wrote that data has shown “there has been little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission.”

Read More

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles on State of the State Address and His Role Helping to Recruit Businesses to Growing Tennessee

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles to the studio to weigh in on Governor Bill Lee’s State of the State address and the rapid development of Tennessee.

Read More

Congressman, Former NFL-er Owens Says He’s Done with League until ‘America Divider’ Goodell Is Fired

Former NFL star and freshman Utah GOP Rep. Burgess Owens says the NFL has gotten too political and he will continue to boycott the National Football League until Commissioner Roger Goodell is fired.

Owens played for the New York Jets in the 1970’s and helped bring the Los Angeles Raiders to their championship Super Bowl win in 1984. Owens, who now represents Utah’s fourth Congressional district, has since become a sharp critic of the modern-day NFL.

Read More

CBO: $15 Minimum Wage Would Lead to 1.4 Million Lost Jobs, Impacting Young, Less Educated the Most

Unemployment line

A $15 minimum wage would result in 1.4 million jobs lost and disproportionately hurt younger workers and those with less education, a new Congressional Budget Office report says.

President Joe Biden, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and other Democrats have proposed raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, more than double the current federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.

Read More

Biden to Further Cut Down on ICE Arrests and Deportations

Joe Biden has directed various federal agencies to significantly roll back criteria for making arrests and ordering deportations of illegal aliens, according to Fox News.

The overhaul comes after a memo that was issued on January 20th, Biden’s first day in office, which directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to rescind several Trump-era immigration policies that made it easier to arrest and deport illegals. Biden similarly signed several executive orders that strengthened protections for illegal aliens who qualify for DACA amnesty, and ordered a stop to all construction on the border wall.

Read More

Backers Attempt Again to Get Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act Before Voters

Organizers are pushing again for Davidson County voters to have the chance to vote for the proposed Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act referendum. If voters approve it, the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act would roll back Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s 34 to 37 percent tax increase.

Read More

Tampa Mayor Says Maskless Super Bowl Revellers ‘Will Be Identified’; ‘Handled’ by Police

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor on Monday referred to maskless Super Bowl revellers as “bad actors,” and vowed that they will be identified by law enforcement and dealt with.

In late January, the Democrat mayor extended the city’s mask mandate, requiring face coverings outdoors until Feb. 13. The ordinance was designed to show that Tampa “takes this pandemic seriously.”

Read More

University of Tennessee Chattanooga ‘Race Discussion Guide’ Singles Out White People

A “Race Discussion Guide” issued by the University of Tennessee Chattanooga (UTC) emphasizes its focus on the role and reality of White people. The Office of Equity and Inclusion created the guide with the purpose of helping UTC students, faculty, and staff navigate conversations on race.

In the 7 pages of information offered, the guide exclusively referenced White people no less than 17 times. Many of those references were linked to assumptions about White people or relationships with White people. Nowhere in the guide does it mention any other group of people by their skin color, such as Black individuals.

Read More

Fifteen Secretaries of State Endorse Keep Nine Amendment

A group of 15 secretaries of state this week issued their support for the “Keep Nine Amendment” recently introduced in Congress, marking the latest victory for the organization seeking to preserve the independence of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Keep Nine Amendment said in a statement that the 15 sent the letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader of the House Kevin McCarthy.

Read More

Chinese Tech CEO ‘Would Welcome’ Discussion with Biden, Hopes U.S. Takes Softer Approach Toward China

The CEO of Chinese tech company Huawei said he would welcome a phone call with president Joe Biden after years of being targeted as a national security threat.

Ren Zhengfei, the founder and CEO of Huawei, said he hoped President Joe Biden’s administration would take a softer approach toward his company than President Donald Trump did, NBC News reported. The Trump administration labeled Huawei a national security threat in June, cutting off the company’s ability to receive federal funds.

Read More

Budget Deficit Spiked in January, CBO Report Finds

The federal budget deficit grew a whopping 400% in one year as the pandemic caused spending to skyrocket, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report Tuesday.

The estimated January federal budget deficit was $165 billion, $132 billion more than the deficit in January 2020, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report released Tuesday. The federal budget in the first four months of fiscal year 2021, which started in October, was $738 billion, an 89% jump compared to the same period last year.

Read More

University of Florida Professor Indicted over Undisclosed China Ties

A professor at the University of Florida has been indicted on charges of wire fraud and failure to disclose his ties to China. The professor obtained a $1.75 million federal grant from the National Institutes of Health.

According to the Department of Justice, the professor, Lin Yang had not only received support from the Chinese government but also promoted his own company in China to conduct research “supported by millions of dollars of U.S. government funding.”

Read More

All Star Panelist Roger Simon and Mayor Andy Ogles Talk Democratic Hypocrisy and Impeachment

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon and Mayor Andy Ogles to the studio to discuss threats of violence and the unconstitutionality of the impeachment.

Read More

Nashville Based New English Review Publisher and Editor Rebecca Bynum Talks Business and Conservative Media

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed publisher and editor of the New English Review Rebecca Bynum to the studio to discuss her company and publishing in a woke world.

Read More

Nashville Attorney Jim Roberts Talks About the Launch of the New Taxpayer Protection Act Petition for Davidson County Voters

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Nashville Attorney Jim Roberts to the newsmakers line to talk about the adjustments made to the Taxpayer Protection Act petition to get it on the ballot.

Read More

Rep. Good Asks Virginia Gov. Northam to Loosen COVID Restrictions in Letter

Rep. Bob Good (R-VA-05) is leading Virginia’s Republican congressional delegation in asking Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to loosen COVID-19 restrictions.

In a letter co-signed by Rep. Robert J. Wittman (R-VA-01), Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (R-VA-09), and Rep. Ben Cline (R-VA-06), Good asked Northam Monday on behalf of his constituents to give them a reprieve from COVID-19 restrictions, and allow them to get back to work. 

Read More

Virginia General Assembly Considering Protections for Domestic Workers

The Virginia General Assembly is considering three bills that would add legal protections for domestic workers in jobs like cleaning, landscaping, and childcare. The bills are focused on banning discriminatory practices, implementing safety standards, and requiring worker’s compensation insurance. Advocates say the current exemption for domestic workers dates back to racist Jim Crow legislation and should be removed, but opponents say the bills put more burdens on domestic workers and the people who hire them.

HB 2032, introduced by Delegate Wendy Gooditis (D-Clarke) adds “Domestic Service” as a category that would be included under current workplace safety and workers’ compensation law. Gooditis said that the bill makes domestic service subject to workplace safety standards, and that inspectors can require access.

Read More

Delegate McNamara Sponsors Bill Allowing Schools to Replace Snow Days with Remote Learning Days

Delegate Joseph McNamara’s (R-Roanoke) HB 1790 will allow public schools to declare unscheduled remote learning days instead of snow days — but he’s not trying to eradicate snow days.

“I want kids to have snow days, and I want them to go out and build snowmen, and throw snow balls and have grilled cheese sandwiches,” he said. “I’ll use Roanoke County as an example. Several years back, they missed about 13 days of school in about a month and a half period. And when you have situations where you have ice in the mountains areas and kids can’t get back in to school for days sometimes, it’s not really a snow day. It’s a nasty, ugly day, and so this would give schools another opportunity.”

Read More

$210M Broadband Internet Partnership to Connect 80K Georgians

Tens of thousands of rural Georgians are expected to gain access to high-speed internet under a private-sector partnership announced Monday by Gov. Brian Kemp and other state leaders.

The partnership between the Central Georgia Electric Membership Corporation (CGEMC), Southern Rivers Energy (SRE) and Conexon will serve 18 counties and provide broadband internet access to 80,000 homes and businesses, Kemp said.

Read More

After COVID-19, New Bill Pushes for Georgia to Produce Medical Devices

One year into COVID-19, Georgia State Rep. Jodi Lott (R-Evans) has introduced a bill that she says will incentivize people to manufacture medical devices within state lines. Sponsors say that this legislation, if enacted into law, would limit Georgia’s need to compete with other states or foreign nations for critical supplies.

Read More

Poll: Michiganders Skeptical of COVID Vaccine

According to a January U.S. Census Bureau poll, on average, Michiganders say they are less likely to take the COVID-19 vaccine than residents of other states. 

“An estimated 24% of Michigan adults age 18 and older say they are unlikely to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a new U.S. Census survey,” Michigan Live reported. “That includes 14% who say they ‘probably’ won’t get the vaccine; 9% who say they ‘definitely’ will not, and 1% who have received one dose but say they are not planning to get the second dose.”

Read More

Georgia GOP Chair Seat up for Grabs, Outcome Could Influence Whether State Goes Blue or Red

Georgia Republican Party Chair David Shafer has not yet declared he will seek a second term for that position, but Cobb County GOP Chair Jason Shepherd wants Shafer’s seat. Shafer has told allies that he plans to seek a second term and will announce shortly.

Read More

Minneapolis Police Scrambling for Staff After Riots, ‘Defund Police’ Campaign

The Minneapolis Police Department is in dire straights as it prepares for possible violence during the trial of one of its former officers.

“Minneapolis has about 200 fewer police officers available to work as the city tries to rebound from a violent year and prepare for more potential unrest,” The Star-Tribune reported. “In the short term, the city is seeking aid from other law enforcement agencies as it plans for the March trial for former Officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with killing George Floyd.”

Read More

Ohio Lawmakers Form Business First Caucus Aimed to Help Small Business

A group of Ohio lawmakers want to focus on the state’s below average ranking for economic performance by creating a bipartisan Business First Caucus.

The group, headed by state Sens. Mark Romanchuk, R-Ontario, and George Lang, R-West Chester, said it’s aimed at small businesses, staying at the center of major tax and regulatory reform while promoting ideas and legislation that positively impact small business in the state.

Read More

Pro-Life ‘Rule of Law Life Act’ Banning Abortion Moves Through Tennessee General Assembly

A new pro-life bill claims that constitutionally-protected life begins at conception, banning all abortions except in life-threatening emergencies. Dubbed the “Rule of Law Life Act,” the bill stated that the Fourteenth Amendment extends the right to life to the unborn, the legal precedents in existence allowing abortion derogate the Constitution,

The bill expands upon the previous heartbeat bill, signed into law last year and is currently being debated in the courts. It asserts that established and accepted science supports the notion of human life beginning at conception. Additionally, the bill explicitly prohibits punishing mothers for abortions committed. Only physicians who violate the proposed laws would be subject to punishments awarded for Class C felonies or Class A misdemeanors, as well as the suspension or revocation of their healthcare license.

Read More