NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Tenncare Leads To Taxpayers' Revolt

July 17, 2001

For the second year in a row, protests by irate Tennessee taxpayers persuaded the state legislature not to institute a state income tax.

Why is the legislature repeatedly seeking an income tax? The answer is: out of control spending.

  • Since 1997, state spending has jumped 33 percent -- about four times the rate of inflation over the past three to four years.
  • Most of the increased spending has gone for TennCare, the state's comprehensive health care program for the poor, the uninsured and the uninsurable.
  • Spending for TennCare will increase 12 percent this year alone.

The highly subsidized premiums for TennCare have attracted many people who aren't eligible. Estimates put the number of people in the program illegally at one in five, or more than 260,000 Tennesseans.

Source: Editorial, "Tennessee's Lesson," Investor's Business Daily, July 17, 2001.


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