- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Republican Sen. Todd Gardenhire of Chattanooga, who twice voted against Medicaid expansion in Tennessee, told a newspaper that his adult son had “never” been signed up for state benefits.

Then he called The Tennessean (https://tnne.ws/1IxJ2Q8) back on Monday to “eat crow,” saying that he was wrong.

The exchange came after Gardenhire denied in February that he had health coverage though the state, but later corrected himself. That exchange led to the Tennessean asking for records on lawmakers who receive state health insurance and the cost to taxpayers. Records showed that his son had been covered.

When first asked, Gardenhire denied that his son had ever had benefits through the state.

“I do not and never have had. You guys continually misprint information about me. I really don’t appreciate it. I have never had a child on my insurance. Never. That is spelled with a capital N.”

Gardenhire said he then checked with Connie Ridley, director of legislative administration, who confirmed that him his son, Andrew Gardenhire, was on the plan in 2012 and 2013.

“She said ‘When you signed up, you signed up for the family and you put him down,’ ” Gardenhire told the newspaper. “So I’m here to eat crow with you - if you’ve ever had to eat crow with someone. I’m having to call up and say I was wrong. You were right.”

The lawmaker said he didn’t mean to mislead.


Information from: The Tennessean, https://www.tennessean.com

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