Tennessee senator had son on state benefits

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 (http://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.

Gardenhire said he checked with Connie Ridley, director of legislative administration, who confirmed that him his son, Andrew Gardenhire, was on the plan in 2012 and 2013. The lawmaker said he didn’t mean to mislead.