Letters to the Editor

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at 11:41pm

 

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: Kosh III on 8/27/09 at 10:45

Richardson exonerated
"New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former high-ranking members of his administration won't be criminally charged in a yearlong federal investigation into pay-to-play allegations involving one of the Democratic governor's large political donors..."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/27/source-bill-richardson-to_n_270211.html

By: Funditto on 8/27/09 at 10:46

what's a whirled pea? Does it taste good with beer?

By: chiefpayne568 on 8/27/09 at 10:47

Blanket,

A few other things Thomas Paine said:

Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
Thomas Paine

Every religion is good that teaches man to be good; and I know of none that instructs him to be bad.
Thomas Paine

Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.
Thomas Paine

If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
Thomas Paine

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/27/09 at 10:47

it sure does, Funditto! everything tastes good with beer!

is the Titan's rookie practicing today?

By: house_of_pain on 8/27/09 at 10:48

Funditto, visualize whirled peas.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 10:48

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
*******************************************************************************************
You can say that again Thomas.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/27/09 at 10:49

have you read "the age of reason" chief?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/27/09 at 10:51

By: house_of_pain on 8/27/09 at 11:48
Funditto, visualize whirled peas.

thanks, house!

By: slacker on 8/27/09 at 10:51

Who said I had a Paine in my my arse?

By: gdiafante on 8/27/09 at 10:52

I've heard that Paine in the arse can cause stuttering...

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 10:52

The righ-wing fring Republican party has twisted Christian relegion into a new religion.
GOP God On Party.

By: brrrrk on 8/27/09 at 10:52

"In June, as Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., who heads the coalition's task force on health care, publicly expressed the Blue Dogs' misgivings about the Democratic leadership's efforts (to reform the health care system), the former pharmacy owner was feted at a series of health care industry receptions. Ross has received nearly $1 million in campaign contributions from the insurance and health care industries over his five-term career, according to the Center for Responsive Politics."

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/226/story/74426.html

Call the congressional hot-line (202-225-3121), ask for your Blue Dog Congressman and howl!!

By: slacker on 8/27/09 at 10:52

WHy..why do you say thataaa?

By: dargent7 on 8/27/09 at 10:52

You folks need to upgrade your neighborhood skills...get out of the projects and live where the white people do...corner of Harding Rd. and Kenner Ave. has the Bermuda Triangle: Krogers, Publix, and Harris Teeters. If you cannot save there, you cannot save.

By: chiefpayne568 on 8/27/09 at 10:53

Blanket,

Afraid not...but I have it located online.

By: brrrrk on 8/27/09 at 10:54

Blanketnazi2 said

"have you read "the age of reason" chief?"

More importantly The Rights Of Man

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

Late to the party....the juvenile ads on this page, the ones with Obama wearing a surgical do-rag, are an indication of who the NCP advertizers are targeting for ridicule and scorn; ergo, we get a glut of anti-health care reform LTE's. He who pays the piper calls the tune. The NCP is still quite right of center, it just looks "leftist" compared with the other TN-based media.

Our LTE author, Michael S. Lottman, appears to be something of professional zealot. Here's what a quick Google search reveals:

Michael S. Lottman, a Kingston Springs, Tennessee (TN) Lawyer, Attorney - Constitutional Law, Health & Health Care Law, Litigation & Appeals.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/27/09 at 10:57

interesting, Loner!

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 10:57

By: dargent7 on 8/27/09 at 11:52
You folks need to upgrade your neighborhood skills...get out of the projects and live where the white people do...corner of Harding Rd. and Kenner Ave. has the Bermuda Triangle: Krogers, Publix, and Harris Teeters. If you cannot save there, you cannot save.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I need to go there today. Got lots of things to do.

By: Kosh III on 8/27/09 at 11:02

We've got our own Bermuda Triangle
Krogers Hills WalMart

I'll take my neighborhood over yours any time. Can your neighborhood offer a nice 1400 sq ft home next to the Cumberland for under 100,000?

By: chiefpayne568 on 8/27/09 at 11:03

Loner,

A do-rag? The ones I saw were with him wearing a doctor's outfit. Which ones had the do-rag?

By: dargent7 on 8/27/09 at 11:03

I'll pass on that web site showing pictures of Obama's penis, but thanks just the same, Kosh III.
What's this facination with death in America? Sen. Ed Kennedy will "lie in repose" for 2 days....WTF is that? When I'm dead, and I mean clinically, not as I write this slop, I want to be cremeated on the spot. I don't want some pervert(s) to be injecting me with formaldehyde after bleeding all my innards. How sick is that?
So, people can look at him stuffed stiff as a corpse? Have some dignity, people!

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 11:03

In Kingston Springs, there are a lot of close nit families there. Telephone pole family tree close nit. You know what I mean.

By: Kosh III on 8/27/09 at 11:05

dar
AND I'll bet my neighborhood traffic is just as bad as yours. So there. Pffftttfffftttff

:)

By: Kosh III on 8/27/09 at 11:07

"In Kingston Springs, there are a lot of close nit families there. Telephone pole family tree close nit. You know what I mean."

I didn't know Kingston Springs was in Kentucky? Or do they just have a lot of Republicans?
LOL

By: chiefpayne568 on 8/27/09 at 11:07

Loner on 8/27/09 at 11:56

"Our LTE author, Michael S. Lottman, appears to be something of professional zealot. Here's what a quick Google search reveals"

Indeed. He's an attorney. I wonder what he thinks of tort reform in a bill?

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

Chief, the skull cap is what I meant by "do-rag"; you know, the headwear that surgical teams wear.

These ubiquitous ads all feature Obama wearing a green, surgeon's skull cap ( or whatever they call them)...the intent is to make Obama look foolish and pretentious....this is a grade school tactic, but it probably works on the GOP faithful, many of whom have never progressed much beyond the grade school level.

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

Looking at d7 corps I said, "he look just like he is sleeping."

The personing standing next to me says, "so he always looked that bad?"

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

My rookie has been sunbathing in the lovely weather. words cannot describe it...

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 11:15

Kosh, come to think ofit, It is a RED county. lol

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/27/09 at 11:16

By: Funditto on 8/27/09 at 12:15
My rookie has been sunbathing in the lovely weather. words cannot describe it...

*sigh*

drink a beer for me, Funditto.

By: house_of_pain on 8/27/09 at 11:17

Funditto's Peeping Tom job offers no health insurance, but, oh, the benefits...

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 11:17

By: Funditto on 8/27/09 at 12:15
My rookie has been sunbathing in the lovely weather. words cannot describe it...
_________________________________________________________________

So tell us how you are feeling now, Fun.

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

hey, it beats flippin' burgers at McDonalds.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 11:19

house!

Why do elephants have flat feet?

By: house_of_pain on 8/27/09 at 11:19

Uh-oh. Why, Nemo?

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

I would welcome Mr. Lottman to our posting community, I'm sure that he can articulate his thoughts and enlighten us all on legal matters.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 11:21

To stomp out burning ducks.

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

nemo, to stomp ducks.

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

Tort Reform has been implemented and shown to be a success.
http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/08/health_care_reform_that_actual.html

By: dargent7 on 8/27/09 at 11:23

Really now fellas...guys and girls...does anyone really want to be "lying in repose" for two freakin' days? Put my sorry ass in the nearest wood chipper and let's call it a day. Compost, now that's the ticket!
I was in pre-med decades ago, and the "Morturary Science" division always had two in every chemistry class. They sat by themselves, in the corner of the lab.
Weirdest bunch I ever saw. Didn't make eye contact.
Probably very successful mortitians by now. Look at me. I'm blogging this pile of crap.

By: house_of_pain on 8/27/09 at 11:23

lol, Nemo.
Loner, if the LTE writer is from Kingston Springs, I'm suprised there's not a "YEEE-Haw, motherf***er!!" somewhere in the letter.

By: gdiafante on 8/27/09 at 11:25

Don't worry Dargent, I'm sure the necropheliac mortician that prepares your corpse will be gentle. It's not like you'll even know about, right?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 11:28

Close slacker.

drgent, Councilman Tim Garett is one of them successful mortitians. lol

By: Loner on 8/27/09 at 11:29

Careful, Dragon, some of us don't know tort from tortilla.

It's a three-way clusterbang...the lawyers, the doctors the insurance companies. Now, Uncle Sam wants a piece of the action. The masses are lubin' their @sses....so to speak.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 11:32

house, I just love chicken, duck and elephant jokes.

By: dargent7 on 8/27/09 at 11:38

gd: Let's leave my personal mortician out of this, ok? How about some Beatles trivia?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/27/09 at 11:38

Hay! They took a R from Garrett.

By: slacker on 8/27/09 at 11:39

dargent, you being in Pre-Med., is probably why we haven't had tort reform.

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

Pain, do they have rebel flags on their pick ups? Thanks for the warning.

I heard about the origins of the terms, "yee" and "haw", while at my retreat, in July. Apparently the terms mean "right" and "left" and are used when commanding oxen pulling a load or implement. "Yeehaw" means "straight ahead!" I guess that those commands are preliminary, a snap of the whip is the command of execution.

This is what an old farmboy told me, I have not googled it. Sounds credible. The misled rebel soldiers fighting for white supremacy probably yelled something like that, when engaging in those suicidal frontal assualts...what a waste.