Up for Debate: Haslam passes on exchange

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 1:14am

What do you think of Gov. Bill Haslam's decision to let the federal government run a health insurance exchange program instead of the state?

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

98 Comments on this post:

By: Captain Nemo on 12/11/12 at 3:52

The way the State politicians do business this was a wise thing to do.

By: govskeptic on 12/11/12 at 6:04

Wise decision on the Governor's part. This state not large enough to tackle putting
this type program in place and no way to truly judge the cost that would be involved.

If program had been planned for our state, HCA would have been both planner
and implementer. The ObamaCare plan for those with pre-existing conditions has been announced and each of us will pay $14.00 per month added to our insurance
premiums to cover starting in 2014.

By: gdiafante on 12/11/12 at 6:24

Actually, gov, if rates go up, it's all on the insurance company. Contrary to GOP hysterics, this is not a government takeover of the healthcare industry.

I have less problem with raising my rates and increasing benefits rather than what has been the case for at least the last five years, which is raising rates while increasing the deductible, increasing the co-pay, reducing the amount of in-system providers...

By: Loner on 12/11/12 at 6:34

Good morning, Nashville.

What do you think of Gov. Bill Haslam's decision to let the federal government run a health insurance exchange program instead of the state?

I think that the Governor is a wimpy, dull-witted, ass lick and the state of TN is a Tea party basket case....the federal government is now forced to step in where the state has failed.....the Volunteer State is a one of the welfare queen states in our shaky union of American states....a net drag on the national economy and an impediment to national progress.

Other than that....everything's just fine & dandy.

By: Loner on 12/11/12 at 6:39

We heard the "good reasons" for Gov. Haslam's actions...now, here's the real reason: Frist, driven by greed, couldn't squeeze Obamacare for more cash; ergo, Frist opted out of the deal and the governor-on-a-string said, "OK, whatever you say, sir".

By: gdiafante on 12/11/12 at 6:40

It isn't a surprise that he did this, I'm expecting the majority of states to let the Feds handle it.

If there's any queenery going on, it's the NY drama queen. TN has it's problems, but to say it's a drag on the national economy or impeding progress? That's funny.

Methinks you give TN more importance than is warranted.

Now, I'm not saying it's progressive (regressive, yes), but on the national stage, it's not a player.

By: Loner on 12/11/12 at 6:55

I got yer drama fer ya...right HERE!

By: gdiafante on 12/11/12 at 6:56

Now, Italianize that and you'll have something...

By: yogiman on 12/11/12 at 7:05

Isn't Obamacare a takeover from Medicare? So why should a state take state rights over from the federal government today when they gave our rights to the federal government before. Are they wing wanging or yo yoing?

By: yogiman on 12/11/12 at 7:48

Now we've settled the 'bamacare issue, it's time to get back on the real issue; Who's in office?

B2, your Snope's referral yesterday mentioned "native born", not natural born. Isn't there a difference? I've always though there was. Considering the thoughts of our Founders, in my history classes I understood they didn't want anyone in the President's office with foreign influence and that was why they put that natural born citizen requirement in the Constitution. And who has shown more foreign influence than Barack Hussein Obama?

Of course, they used common sense back then and thought everyone would think a natural born citizen would be someone born to two American parents. I'm sure they didn't think it would be someone who wouldn't wear an American flag lapel pin or someone who would stand with his hands locked over his crotch instead of over his heart in honoring the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America in their nation's future.

Of course there's been a few defining reasoning's over the decades and the last one was when Barack Obama (if that's his name) questioned John McCain over his natural born status and the Senate held their questioning session under Obama's demand.

Since John McCain showed his birth certificate at the "opening of the door" they quickly decided he was a natural born citizen after a few questions because he was born on American soil and his Momma and Daddy were both American citizens. Case closed with a 99-0 vote. Of course, McCain 'naturally' didn't vote against himself so it looks like Barry voted for that definition.

So when the Senate offered to pass the questioning over to Barry as the receiver, lo and behold, he didn't seem to have any answers, so preferred not to be questioned. I guess he didn't feel he should prove himself the way he insisted John McCain prove himself. Different qualifications, ya know.

My question, then, to Alexander and Corker was; Why not? The only answer I received was from Alexander and he said they had "checked him out" and he was "legal". I re-questioned him asking where they had gotten that information and why it hadn't been passed on the the general public that would want to know. Ya know what? I never received an answer.

I'm still wondering: Why not?

By: Loner on 12/11/12 at 7:51

OMG...four more years of Birther BS? This site is troll-stricken and moribund.

By: gdiafante on 12/11/12 at 7:52

Ignore the >B>LIAR, Loner. We settled this yesterday.

By: gdiafante on 12/11/12 at 7:53

s/h/b LIAR...messed up my bold Italianization...lol

By: Loner on 12/11/12 at 7:56

Nobody's human, Gd.

By: Loner on 12/11/12 at 8:05

Being a bastion of states rights, one might conclude that Tennessee would seize the opportunity to administer a health-care program for Tennesseans...but, this is one function of modern governance that the Volunteer State is not volunteering to perform...they hit the default button: Let Uncle Sam fund the program and let Sam do the work...Gov. Haslam has pulled a Pontius Pilate, he's washed his hands of "Obamacare"....some might call that dereliction of duty.

Nemo's 3:52 post sums it up quite well.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 8:05

Hey, this means we're one step closer to single payer. Works for me!

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 8:07

gov, where are you getting your info about the $14/mo increase?

btw, as I have mentioned previously, Obamacare pays for itself when you take into consideration its stronger stance on Medicare fraud. In less than one year, that provision of the law has recouped millions (literally) in fraud.

By: gdiafante on 12/11/12 at 8:10

That is a good point Loner. This is just another reason why TN isn't a leader on the national stage. But, again, I'm not surprised.

Nemo, are the feds any better? Look at how bloated most government programs have become...I think the public would have less apprehension if the Feds had a better track record. That's one of the problems that I would like to see solved.

Yeah right...

By: Loner on 12/11/12 at 8:21

Here is an interesting WaPo article, written last July, about something that did not get a lot of attention at the time:




Romney Quoted: When our health care costs are completely out of control. Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? 8 percent. You spend 8 percent of GDP on health care. And you’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18 percent of our GDP on health care. 10 percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, let me compare that with the size of our military. Our military budget is 4 percent. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of GDP. We have to find ways, not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to finally manage our health care costs.

The US taxpayer's generosity towards the Jewish State insures adequate healthcare to a state outside our union of states....not a single Republican or Tea-bagger has criticized Israel's health care delivery system as being "socialized medicine"....that criticism has been reserved for "Obamacare".

Romney lavishly praised Israel's government-run healthcare system...but he wanted the US government to butt out of US health care...go figure.

By: gdiafante on 12/11/12 at 8:24

That is a very interesting quote, Loner. Romney is an enigma wrapped in a riddle.

By: budlight on 12/11/12 at 8:24

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 8:05
Hey, this means we're one step closer to single payer. Works for me!

Can you t ell me what "single payer" actually means?

By: yogiman on 12/11/12 at 8:25

Your errors show you aren't always tight, eh, gdiafante?

By: yogiman on 12/11/12 at 8:28

Whose handling you Nu Yawkers, Loner, y'all, or them?

By: Loner on 12/11/12 at 8:31

Mitt couldn't figure out how the Israelis do it....let me help, unlike the state of Israel, the USA does not receive billions in annual foreign aid or war reparations payments from other nations, like the Israelis do.....Israel's military budget is augmented with generous US Defense industry assistance and aid. It's the old guns or butter conundrum.... they get all kinds of free guns from us, so they can afford free butter for their own people....I guess that Mitt could not connect the dots on that....he was dumbfounded.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 8:31

Sure. Single payer means that there is one party responsible for filing claims and that everyone pays the same rate for procedures. Right now, 5 different insurance companies will pay 5 different rates on the very same thing. Single payer prevents that from happening.

By: yogiman on 12/11/12 at 8:31

Our ancestors earned the "Volunteer State" for us, gdiafant, hoping we would carry that honor into their future. Looks like lots of us are letting them down, huh?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 8:33

It basically limits the "wheeling and dealing" that goes on with insurance companies and what is negotiated for payment.

By: yogiman on 12/11/12 at 8:34

Oops, s/h/s "who's".

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 8:34

bud - here is a better explaination that what I provided.


Single-payer is a term used to describe a type of financing system. It refers to one entity acting as administrator, or “payer.” In the case of health care, a single-payer system would be setup such that one entity—a government run organization—would collect all health care fees, and pay out all health care costs. In the current US system, there are literally tens of thousands of different health care organizations—HMOs, billing agencies, etc. By having so many different payers of health care fees, there is an enormous amount of administrative waste generated in the system. (Just imagine how complex billing must be in a doctor’s office, when each insurance company requires a different form to be completed, has a different billing system, different billing contacts and phone numbers—it’s very confusing.) In a single-payer system, all hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers would bill one entity for their services. This alone reduces administrative waste greatly, and saves money, which can be used to provide care and insurance to those who currently don’t have it.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 8:37

Go to the site if you want to read more. It's really a more "common sense" approach to operating healthcare.

By: Loner on 12/11/12 at 8:37

How badly are Israelis taxed? To find out, I Googled it and got this snippet from Wiki:


The principal taxes in Israel are income tax, capital gains tax, VAT and land appreciation tax. The primary law on income taxes in Israel is codified in the Income Tax Ordinance. There are also special tax incentives for new immigrants to encourage Aliyah. Following Israel’s social justice protests in July 2011, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed during on August, 2011 a special committee headed by Professor Trajtenberg to hold discussions and make recommendations to the government's socio-economic cabinet, headed by Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz. During December 2011 the Knesset reviewed these recommendations and approved a series of amendments to Israel's tax law. Among the amendments were the raising of the corporate tax rate from 24% to 25% and possibly 26% in 2013. Additionally, a new top income bracket of 48% (instead of 45%) would be introduced for people earning more than NIS 489,480 per annum. People who earn more than NIS 1 million a year would pay a surtax of 2% on their income and taxation of capital gains would not be decreased to 20% but remain at 25% in 2012. (end snippet)

Low tax rates....top-shelf healthcare....maybe I'll convert and make Aliyah too.....Oy!

By: yogiman on 12/11/12 at 8:38


You claim to be a 'music man'. I just heard a good song. You might not like it if you can't sing any better than you can argue.



By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 8:40

"Single payer" and "universal healthcare" are two different things which people sometimes confuse. "Single payer" is a way of handling the money - it's not a system that provides healthcare for everyone.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 8:48

Single payer not only saves tons of money in administrative costs, it also helps safeguard against fraud.

By: BenDover on 12/11/12 at 8:51

We already tried the top-down smarter-than-everyone-else Harvard Faculty lounge managed care crap before and it was a dismal failure called Tenncare that almost bankrupted the state.

By: Loner on 12/11/12 at 8:54

The problem lies in the nature of medicine-related capitalism, methinks....for the most part, American doctors are businessmen, their practices are businesses....the private insurance companies are businesses, not charities...private hospitals, HMOs, extended care facilities are all businesses....the drug companies are businesses too....and they all have to make payroll, or go bankrupt.

Competition is usually a good thing in a capitalist model...but that may not be the case when healthcare and profit-making are fundamentally conjoined, as is the case here, in the USA.

There is a built-in conflict of interests between saving bucks and saving lives.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 8:54

Single payer not only saves tons of money in administrative costs, it also helps safeguard against fraud.

By: BenDover on 12/11/12 at 8:55

It's the profit incentive of our market that underwrites the whole price controlled world, not just Israel, Loner.

By: treehugger7 on 12/11/12 at 8:55

Thanks, blanket--well put.

By: Loner on 12/11/12 at 8:57

Ben wades into the fray with a long opening sentence that featured 7 adjectives modifying the noun, "crap"...two of the adjectives were hyphenated phrases...very impressive.

By: Loner on 12/11/12 at 9:06

Israel's situation is unique, Ben...lots of umbilical cords keep the Jewish State concept alive and "healthy". The profit incentive in US medicine is a much greater factor than it is in Israel.

The state of Israel is a model for modern democratic socialism...if we discount and ignore the Jewish Jim Crow and apartheid in the Occupied Territories, that is. For the Jewish citizens of the Jewish State, life is good...except for the occasional rocket fire coming out of blockaded Gaza....other than that, it's a Jewish paradise.

By: gdiafante on 12/11/12 at 9:06

This all goes back to overall health care costs, which are rising too fast for any program to be profitable. Unless you're insurance or big Pharma...

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 9:07

Costs would go down if your streamline the administrative part.

By: BenDover on 12/11/12 at 9:07

Didn't anyone else read a little Hayek to help balance out their Keynes?

Blanket sees single payer as a great efficiency and a way to cut out evil profit from the delivery of the service of Health care. Not me... I've seen what they've done with the DMV and every other miserable interface we have with an unchecked government monopoly.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 9:08

Ben, dooming this to failure based on Tenncare is ridiculous. It is not the same as Tenncare but you can use Tenncare as an example of things not to do.

By: gdiafante on 12/11/12 at 9:09

Yeah, I mentioned that as a problem earlier, Ben. The government's track record isn't that great.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 9:10

And Ben's delusional "free market" crap is a proven failure!

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 9:11

Ben, when did I say that "evil profit" should be cut? I'm referring to creating efficiencies that reduce cost. Your chicken little act is getting as bad as yogi's birther crap.

By: yogiman on 12/11/12 at 9:15

Maybe he's not as educated as you, Loner. I don't think he had to learn to drive a Jeep to deliver the mail. I know, you had to learn to read the names of the roads you delivered on, and you had to read the numbers on each box. And you even had to read the names on the envelopes you were delivering.

I wish my mail carrier could do that. But what the hell, she's not driving a Jeep.

By: gdiafante on 12/11/12 at 9:16

Blanket, you can't advocate efficient government without being anti-Capitalist to Ben.