Letters to the Editor

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at 10:41pm

 

Lip service doesn’t heal

It is very difficult for me to understand what possible relevance the article by Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Phil Roe ("TennCare Lessons for Health Care Reform," July 27) had to do with the pending national debate, except for “allowing them” to experience once again the joy of bashing TennCare?

There is not one positive or constructive suggestion in the entire article, and in fact the only subject that seems to interest them, pro or con, is the possibility of a government-run health care option.

Instead, the authors content themselves with a misleading and inaccurate summary of TennCare's sad history, on the apparent assumption that if TennCare was bad, then the new reform proposal (they do not say which one) must be worse, even though the two have nothing to do with each other.

Blackburn and Roe characterize TennCare as "universal single payer care" and President Obama's goal as "universal care," thus establishing (in their minds) that if two things sound alike they must be alike.

But TennCare was not "universal," even within the small "universe" of Tennessee, and it certainly was not intended to be "single payer." Rather it was intended to lower costs and expand coverage through managed care exercised by various qualified provider organizations in competition with each other. 

But many of the providers were not qualified, there was little or no management of the care provided and by the end, any real semblance of competition had been eliminated — while virtually all risk was assumed by the State. So of course TennCare didn't work because it was never properly implemented.

If it is true, as the authors charge, that patients with nothing more than a cold incurred high costs for doctor visits and medication when they should have just taken an over-the counter remedy, then true managed care was not occurring or these unnecessary expenditures would not have been authorized or reimbursed.

On the other hand, of course, if people are really ill, then it is more economical (and patients are better off) if they do see a doctor instead of treating themselves and eventually winding up in an emergency room, which is the most expensive option of all.

Of course, these stories — like the authors' repeated claim that private employers opportunistically dropped their coverage and "forced" workers on to the TennCare rolls — are virtually unverifiable and unquantifiable because of the inadequate data collection and analysis from which TennCare historically suffered.

The people cast out by [TennCare] are a large component of the the group which needs health care reform the most — whether through some sort of government-run plan or otherwise.

People with no health coverage probably will not mind if a "government bureaucrat" is involved in the process that provides them with necessary care and treatment. The bugaboo that the new health care system will put another person "in the exam room" with the patient and his or her doctor should not frighten anyone anyway, since all but the ‘most lavish’ current plans already place limits on costs and availability of certain procedures and require prior authorization for much if not all of the treatment provided.

Like most opponents of reform, Blackburn and Roe give lip service to "affordable basic health care for all Americans," but they say that "creating a plan like TennCare is not the right answer." It would be more correct to say that creating a plan like TennCare is not the right question. The question is how to meet the health care needs of all Americans, and on this subject Blackburn and Roe have nothing to offer.

Michael S. Lottman, 37082

Send comments via e-mail to letters@nashvillecitypaper.com

 

 

299 Comments on this post:

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 9:53

Is this another CHICKEN JOKE!!!

By: slacker on 8/27/09 at 9:53

nazi, I report you decide.

By: gdiafante on 8/27/09 at 9:54

Nemo, I have to confess that District 9 doesn't even remotely interest me...but I am going to go see Inglourious Basterds this weekend...QT is da bomb!

By: slacker on 8/27/09 at 9:56

nemo, no joke. Your leaders on the job.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 9:58

By: slacker on 8/27/09 at 9:53
nazi, I report you decide.

This was very foxie of you. lol

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 10:01

g, Inglourious Basterds is next on my list of movies to see.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/27/09 at 10:02

oh great slackerdomas, will chickens continue to be persecuted and discriminated against within the city limits of Metro Nashville? LOL!

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/27/09 at 10:02

Me too, Nemo.

By: chiefpayne568 on 8/27/09 at 10:07

Oh I LOVE this guy making the speech! A great American indeed!

Wally Herger Town Hall Remarks Redding
http://tinyurl.com/nep77v

By: house_of_pain on 8/27/09 at 10:09

Any Dane Cook fans here? He's coming to the Sommet Oct. 17.
Publix is cheaper than Hairy TaTas.

By: slacker on 8/27/09 at 10:10

I foresee no fowl allowed. And wait...its coming to me, the two turkeys that introduced this baste-waste, will be defeated in the next elections.
I must now rest.
slackerdamus 8/27/09 10:10 am

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 10:10

I will have to see more about this Chicken bill, but I'm sure that the feathers will fly about this.

Head will roll and headless chickens will run amock throught the streets of Nashville.

More than one chincken will crooss the road to the otherside.

By: chiefpayne568 on 8/27/09 at 10:15

slacker,

"nazi, I report you decide."

Careful Slacker! You'll be associated with FoxNews...and you know how they feel about that channel around here!

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 10:16

Why do ducks have flat feet?

By: chiefpayne568 on 8/27/09 at 10:16

Slacker,

No harm, no fowl!

By: house_of_pain on 8/27/09 at 10:17

It's not a big deal for someone to keep a couple of chickens in their backyard.
I wouldn't want my neighbors keeping more than that, though.

By: chiefpayne568 on 8/27/09 at 10:17

The Great Slackerdamus has spoken!

The turkeys WILL be basted!

By: brrrrk on 8/27/09 at 10:18

chief

"So your solution is to tax the "rich" to pay for universal health care...but what happens when that doesn't pay for it all (or for that matter, since the "rich" have money, they leave the country to prevent paying these taxes)? Why then, they hit the middle class, you and me. And as they have mentioned, it will cost a great deal to pay for all this healthcare.

Frankly, I would rather they do NOTHING in DC about healthcare rather than pass this lousy bill!"

Chief, once again your compassionate conservatism shines with the brightness of a 10 watt bulb. If you wish to bow your head to the "monied Aristocracy" (as Jefferson called them) so be it. I guess you have to serve someone.

By: chiefpayne568 on 8/27/09 at 10:19

brrrrk,

Sure do...I serve my God, my family and my country. I guess that's not what you would want me to serve...but it's what I do.

By: BenDover on 8/27/09 at 10:21

I'll just never get the mentality that sees, as the solution to everything, another huge bloated unaccountable government bureaucracy. I think being a statist is a mental disorder.

By: chiefpayne568 on 8/27/09 at 10:24

Apparently, a majority of people say the Democrats should change their bill rather than go it alone. Doesn't matter...they're going to do what they want to because...
They won...right?

24% Say Democrats Should Pass Health Care Reform Without GOP Votes
http://tinyurl.com/lz48db

By: chiefpayne568 on 8/27/09 at 10:33

WOW. This is amazing!

I don't like or listen to Air America...but you have to admit, things do have to be bad when THIS station is putting down the President!

It’s pretty bad when you have *Air America* calling you a liar, Mr. President
http://www.redstate.com/bs/2009/08/20/its-pretty-bad-when-you-have-air-america-calling-you-a-liar-mr-president/

By: brrrrk on 8/27/09 at 10:47

chief

"brrrrk,

Sure do...I serve my God, my family and my country. I guess that's not what you would want me to serve...but it's what I do."

Right..... you serve your God by putting the welfare of the wealthy before the sick and needy. It's people like YOU that have driven people like me away from religion. You go to church on Sunday, bow your head, sing the songs, say the words, throw a few bucks in the collection plate, and all is good; your conscience is clear cause you took all the right steps.

"Our love must not be a thing of words and fine talk. It must be a thing of action and sincerity (1 John 3:18)."

"One man gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. [Proverbs 11-24]"

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. [Proverbs 23:7]”

“It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)”

"Sad is the man that cannot be convinced of what is right by his own faith" - Me

That's right, you're a sad pathetic little man who has no more of an idea of what the true meaning of the New Testament is than a rock in a river. Your Christianity is a faith of convenience that you use to protect the contents of your pocket book.

By: chiefpayne568 on 8/27/09 at 10:56

brrrrk,

Everyone serves in the manner in which they believe. You serve in your way and I serve in mine.

I am not going to insult your belief because it is yours. Whatever else you say, I am entitled to mine and will keep it. Have a nice day.

By: gdiafante on 8/27/09 at 10:56

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3628/3495258545_d4825c9447.jpg

Watcha think brrrrk? lol

By: Kosh III on 8/27/09 at 10:59

BD said :
I'll just never get the mentality that sees, as the solution to everything, another huge bloated unaccountable government bureaucracy. I think being a statist is a mental disorder."

I can not see the mentality that worships capitalism and thinks that someone who has mo-money/profit as a motive will provide better care to the sick and needy than someone who is doing it to serve others.

By: Kosh III on 8/27/09 at 11:03

gd
Reminds me of a tshirt I once saw. It had in big bold letters JESUS SAVE ME
then in small letters 'from your followers."
This was at a civil rights event and there were Bible-waving protesters along the march route.
Pathetic

Love one another does not mean bombombomb Iran

By: chiefpayne568 on 8/27/09 at 11:04

What do you think, Ben? 8^)

http://tinyurl.com/kqwfwe

By: brrrrk on 8/27/09 at 11:08

chief said,

"Everyone serves in the manner in which they believe. You serve in your way and I serve in mine.

I am not going to insult your belief because it is yours. Whatever else you say, I am entitled to mine and will keep it. Have a nice day."

And to paraphrase Dickens Christmas Carol.

"Brrrrk!" returned Chief, sternly, "keep Christianity in your own way, and let me keep it in mine." "Keep it!" repeated Brrrrk. "But you don't keep it."

By: brrrrk on 8/27/09 at 11:09

gdiafante said

"http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3628/3495258545_d4825c9447.jpg

Watcha think brrrrk? lol"

Sad, but true.....

By: chiefpayne568 on 8/27/09 at 11:15

brrrrk,

"Brrrrk!" returned Chief, sternly, "keep Christianity in your own way, and let me keep it in mine." "Keep it!" repeated Brrrrk. "But you don't keep it."

Ah but I DO keep it every year...close in my heart, Brrrrk. You just don't see it.

You will not change my outlook and I will not change yours. So be it. But I know who and what I am and I am calm in letting God judge me...and could care less how man judges me.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/27/09 at 11:18

brrrrk, it is people like chief who lead me down the path to atheism. so, i guess in a way i need to be thankful for them leading me to the real truth, as ironic as it is.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 11:20

The truth shall set you free, but if that truth has been programmed by another machine, then you Chiefly have false disillusion.

By: chiefpayne568 on 8/27/09 at 11:21

Now this is spot-on, I think.

Barack Obama doesn't care what you think
http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/08/barack_obama_doesnt_care_what.html

By: gdiafante on 8/27/09 at 11:24

Well, in all honesty, every thing has their nuts, you can't really judge the entire entity based on the fringe fanatics. But I do understand how you can be turned off by the attitude and actions of some.

The way I see it, Christ's teachings and examples of how we should be living our lives has been perverted and twisted in order to be constistent with political agendas. Simple as that folks.

You'd think that religion would trump political leanings, but in today's society, your political affiliation determines your religion. A very sad commentary, IMO.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/27/09 at 11:27

"You'd think that religion would trump political leanings, but in today's society, your political affiliation determines your religion. A very sad commentary, IMO."

very true, unfortunately.

yes, the fanatics get on my nerves in a big way (i can't stand hypocricy) but the doctrines of the church do not necessarily instill healthly thoughts and habits. the church loves to rule with guilt, fear and manipulation.

By: dargent7 on 8/27/09 at 11:30

Kosh III...you are correct. Bu "OFF topic" I didn't mean in the toilet talking about coupons and savings at groceries. How about world peace?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/27/09 at 11:31

whirled peas are on sale at HT.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 11:33

Blanket you should never let the program of a twit make you wander from any beleif or no beleifs if that is what you think.

By: dargent7 on 8/27/09 at 11:34

d'pain: I've seen Harris T's 'Ta-Ta's" in the sauna at the YMCA and they are very bodacious.

By: house_of_pain on 8/27/09 at 11:36

That reminds me, I've got a coupon for melons...

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/27/09 at 11:38

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 11:33
Blanket you should never let the program of a twit make you wander from any beleif or no beleifs if that is what you think.

Nemo, I had my doubts from the get go, even as a young child. people like chief just reinforce what i already know.

By: chiefpayne568 on 8/27/09 at 11:38

Blanket

"brrrrk, it is people like chief who lead me down the path to atheism. so, i guess in a way i need to be thankful for them leading me to the real truth, as ironic as it is."

Blanket, no one can lead you where you don't want to be led...so you were already on your way to atheism. Hope you're happy where you are. I know I am.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/27/09 at 11:38

By: house_of_pain on 8/27/09 at 11:36
That reminds me, I've got a coupon for melons...

buy one get one free?

By: chiefpayne568 on 8/27/09 at 11:40

I know it's an editorial...but it WOULD explain why no tort reform!

EDITORIAL: Health care run by trial lawyers
http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/27/health-care-run-by-trial-lawyers/

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 11:40

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/27/09 at 11:27
"You'd think that religion would trump political leanings, but in today's society, your political affiliation determines your religion. A very sad commentary, IMO."
________________________________________________________________

If you plan to make a new government to rule over people, you first make a new religion to rule rule over the people.

Now why do ducks have flat feet?

By: house_of_pain on 8/27/09 at 11:41

Why, Nemo?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/27/09 at 11:42

"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church." -- Thomas Paine

By: chiefpayne568 on 8/27/09 at 11:43

Nemo,

"If you plan to make a new government to rule over people, you first make a new religion to rule rule over the people."

You mean like Scientology?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 11:44

Thank you house.

To stomp out forest fires.