Letters to the Editor

Monday, March 29, 2010 at 11:42pm

Rep. Cooper cast the wrong vote

As a voter in the 5th District of Tennessee, I would like to point out the obvious flaws in [Rep. Jim] Cooper’s progressive reasoning for health care reform. I will also offer a creative solution for the State of Tennessee regarding health care that could save the state millions of dollars. Remember, the goal with health care reform was to provide everyone coverage and reduce medical costs across the board. You can review Congressman Cooper’s statement on his website.

Never before has the federal government required its’ citizens to purchase a product from another private citizen or face criminal penalty under the law. It’s time we as voters put a stop to this progressive march and demand fiscally sound solutions that benefit us all. Helping those in need should never be a disguise for losing our liberty.

Cooper says all the major hospitals in the Nashville area — Vanderbilt, Summit, Centennial, etc. — all support the bill. Of course they would, because these institutions are taking the brunt of unpaid medical claims. Cooper says the American Medical Association supports the bill, but the AMA represents less than 30 percent of doctors across America. Not exactly a majority.

He claims that three major Catholic groups support this legislation. Well, I attend Catholic Church and I can tell you that any bill mandating federal funding for abortion would not be supported. Maybe these groups were duped just like Bart Stupak (D-Michigan) thinking that an Executive Order from President Obama would eliminate that language. I wonder if they know that all Executive Orders expire when the President that wrote them leaves office?

As for the AARP, it has been completely on board with the current administration from the beginning. I’m sure if you’re a member of AARP, you won’t like the fact that this Healthcare Reform Act takes $500 million from Medicare.

Cooper claims “tens of millions of Americans will benefit immediately from reform of these insurance markets.” This would be tough to pull off since none of the coverage changes take affect for another three years, after the next Presidential election.

He claims this is not a government take over of the industry. The language of the bill requires you in three years, to report on your tax return that you have the “government approved” health care policy or face criminal penalty under the law. Companies must also offer the “government approved” policy or face fines as well. Insurance companies must completely change what they are responsible for paying or face penalties from the government. That pretty much sounds taken over to me.

The most outrageous statement from Mr. Cooper is: “The bill is paid for.” Not one Republican vote was necessary to pass this bill. Cooper’s own Democrat party had to bribe its own members with 100’s of millions in taxpayer money that we now owe them in order to get enough votes for passage.

Another reason for the three-year delay? Massive new taxes are now being levied upon us to build up the revenue just to start paying for this bill. Does this sound deficit-neutral to you?

My favorite part of the letter is when Cooper states, “This legislation does not do enough to contain medical inflation, but makes a good start because it contains the largest proposed savings in health care costs in history, over $600 billion over 10 years.” First, if it doesn’t do enough to cover the cost, that is code for we will be raising more taxes to sustain this bill. Secondly, the word proposed means they will try. Remember the promise of Social Security, and later Medicare, was to simply collect the money up front and give it back to you later in life when you need it. Both parties robbed it blind. So are we to trust them in collecting billions up front again?

The constituents of Tennessee’s 5th District are going to have to accept the fact that the 'Blue Dog' Jim Cooper is gone, and the Progressive Jim Cooper has taken its place. Saying the right things about the economy and health care while being here in Nashville and voting the opposite in Washington is not what the voters deserve. Jim Cooper supports the failed Stimulus Plan, Cap and Trade (which is trillions in new taxes), and now a progressive health care plan, which just opened the door to socialized medicine. Remember, you must purchase the government-approved plan or face penalty under the law.

President Obama said in a speech to the Service Employees International Union that he wanted a single-payer system, even if it took 10 years to do it. Remember the demands last summer for Town Hall meetings from Jim Cooper? He wouldn’t have one. I even had my own Town Hall meeting on Sept. 1 at the Mt. Juliet Community Center, but he was too busy. He didn’t make time for his constituents but he found the time to meet with groups such as Organizing for America and Change That Works during the same summer. Both progressive groups report back to, you guessed it, the SEIU.

With Mr. Cooper’s support for groups like the SEIU, the Center for American Progress, and voting in lockstep with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, it is time for a new way of thinking and new solutions.

Government should be developing contracts with private insurance companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and many others to negotiate private policies the government could subsidize. For example, as of March 2006, there were about 1.2 million people on TennCare with a total cost of $8 billion, or $6,667 per person. Any self-employed businessperson can tell you they would have to pay around $3,500 for a policy on their own. Why not scrap Tenn Care as we know it and get the same individuals covered by private plans? Yes, I mean all of them. Even if their policies cost $4,500 it would reduce the total program cost by $2.6 billion or 32.5 percent.

Additional benefits would be that hospitals, doctors and clinics would be paid at higher rates, therefore actually lowering costs to the rest of us. Also, people on TennCare would have better medical care access as the number of facilities not accepting TennCare would decrease dramatically.

Lastly, insurance companies have a better infrastructure in place to identify fraud and abuse. With courageous State Representatives like Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) fighting President Obama’s forced health care through 10th Amendment rights, we could also implement the strategy of privatizing TennCare to show America that you can take care of the people, not bankrupt your state budget, and not threaten the Liberty of those who do not need government assistance.

The bottom line is we must have representatives in Congress that stay true to their principles. Jim Cooper has a well-written book, available through Thomas Nelson Publishers, about fiscal budgeting and deficit eduction but he votes for bailouts and Cap and Trade. He talks about insurance co-ops, fiscal Medicare restraint, and private market competition but then votes for health care reform so expensive your grandchildren will be paying for it.

Does this sound like the America you want to tell your grandchildren about? You’ve heard the saying “A wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Well, Mr. Cooper has become, “A Progressive in a Blue Dog’s clothing.” There is a better way forward. As the great Margaret Thatcher once said, “The problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money.” It’s time to make a change this November.

Mark Charest, Mt. Juliet


149 Comments on this post:

By: dooley on 3/30/10 at 1:22

You would not vote for Rep. Cooper regardless of what he did because you are a Republican.

By: dooley on 3/30/10 at 1:25

I don't think the length of this letter fits the terms for letters published by the City paper anyway . What gives ?

By: eastnashville37207 on 3/30/10 at 1:47

Makes no difference what party you are common sense should insist this man be thrown out of office.

By: dargent7 on 3/30/10 at 5:58

The man's upset Cooper didn't show for his Town Meeting Sept. 1...Obama had been in office 7 months. Cooper didn't need to hear what disgruntled, loosers had to say. Cooper probably didn't attend the 1st Annual Tea Bagger's Convention a few months ago, either. Why? Same bunch of loosers in the crowd.
The voters spoke the prior Nov. 2008, LOUDLY.
With all this brilliant insight the LTE writer should be in Washington, DC, calling the shots.

By: idgaf on 3/30/10 at 6:00

Simple question, why would someone especially the young and healthy pay $750 a month or more for health insurance when they can pay $750 a year penalty knowing that they cannot be refused insurance if they do come down with a catastophic injury/illness.

Its like insuring your car after an accident.

By: Loner on 3/30/10 at 6:12

The LTE is a long-winded rant full of the usual Beck/Limbaugh buzzwords and phrases like, "other people’s money”. and of course, "socialized medicine". The author has been wound up, like a mechanical toy chicken, that struts and clucks until the main spring winds down. Very cute, but it's not a real chicken

Here is Mark's Facebook URL:

The guy is an admitted Tea Party aficionado, No doubt, he is a Palin fan.

By: Kosh III on 3/30/10 at 6:16

Next topic:
"What is your favorite color? "

By: house_of_pain on 3/30/10 at 6:24


By: Dragon on 3/30/10 at 6:43

"The bill is paid for"

At a cost of $1 trillion dollars, the Democrats say the deficit will be reduced $135 billion. Who will pay the $1 trillion plus $135 billion? TAXPAYERS!

By: jvh2b on 3/30/10 at 6:52

idgaf - What policy are you using that a healthy young person would pay 750/month for???? If you have to pay 750/month you are either near death or have the worlds best health insurance.

For a really good plan a healthy young person would pay about 100/month at current rates. No telling how low it will go once the risk pool is diversified further.

Insurance is about protecting you from the what if's and your analogy to this situation is completely bogus. IF one chooses not to insure them self and instead pay a fine, that is their choice, but they also run the risk of getting sick and being unable to pay for the initial treatment as well. If they buy insurance after the fact, it ain't paying for the initial cause....just like if you buy insurance after you wreck your car...it ain't paying. If you insure your car after a wreck, it won't pay for what caused it when you weren't insured, but if you continue to drive it, it will pay for damages caused while insured.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/10 at 6:56

Good morning.

Palin Fan

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/10 at 6:58


By: Loner on 3/30/10 at 7:05

Mark Charest sez; "Well, I attend Catholic Church and I can tell you that any bill mandating federal funding for abortion would not be supported."

Whoah there, Mr. Catholic Man! Where is your personal outrage and the collective outrage from US Catholics over US foreign aid to Israel, where 20-50,000 state-sponsored abortions are performed annually?

Are the apartheid Zionists in the so-called "holyland" exempted from the same standards that Catholics demand of Gentile governments?

Is fear of being labelled, "anti-Semitic" the reason that the normally vocal Catholics are so quiet when it comes to the Israeli abortion issue?

is the deafening silence on the Israeli abortion issue attributable to plain and simple ignorance of the facts? The Israelis don't like to brag to the world about their one in five pregnancies that end in abortion.

Now that you know about that secret Holocaust, Mark Charest, I expect you to pen another LTE condemning the US aid that sponsors those Israeli abortions. If you remain silent about this, you are complicit.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/10 at 7:06

idgaf thinking

By: Funditto on 3/30/10 at 7:13

Did ya'll see that NCP laid of seven people. Very sad.

By: Loner on 3/30/10 at 7:16

Uh, oh! Seven laid off? Was Vinny T. in that number? How about Nels Noseworthy? Can the end be near for this distinguished forum of renowned posters?

By: CAH on 3/30/10 at 7:19

I really don't understand all you people who think a bigger government will make things easier and cheaper for you. One of the biggest things you fought against when it was first imposed was the Patriot Act. The bigger the government, the more intrusive it will be. Before long, ours will be a total welfare society with no responsibility for all.

You've all been misled. It's not Reps vs. Dems, Liberals vs. Conservatives. It's about 535 people in Washington who think we all should just shut up and do as they say while they line their pockets and grab more and more power over the rest of us.

Sad, really. We are killing ourselves softly, one step, one law at a time.

By: bfra on 3/30/10 at 7:33


Others included The City Paper's managing editor Vincent Troia, Titans beat reporter Terry McCormick and entertainment reporter Ron Wynn.

By: VinnyT (not verified) on 3/30/10 at 7:36
Yes, Loner, my number came up yesterday. Nels is still hangin' tough. It's been a pleasure serving all the folks here something each morning and watching the viewpoints fly. Don't know just where I will land yet, but plan to stay in Nashville, and will try to drop in and chat from time to time.
By: bfra on 3/30/10 at 7:37

I think chief goes to Google search - types in "Republican's best bull". then list all of the links.

By: Loner on 3/30/10 at 7:37

CAH, those 535 federal lawmakers are almost all on the take, just go to opensecrets.org and see for yourself. The Bush-family-appointed SCOTUS just recently removed all barriers to corporate spending on political campaigns, so things will only deteriorate further.

A good example of how our federal government no longer works for the American public interest can be found in the House Resolution that condemned the UN Goldstone report...only 36 brave Reps voted "No" on the Resolution. I'm quite sure that none of them had actually read the 535 page report that detailed IDF war crimes in Operation Cast Lead, the IDF rampage in Gaza last year.

When AIPAC demanded that the House condemn the Goldstone Report, as soon as it was released, the Reps immediately responded as directed by the pro-Israel lobbies.

Surrendering our sovereignty and perverting our core values to accomodate a foreign theocracy would alarm the Founders. Today, anyone who complains about the "special relationship" is marginalized as an anti-Semite and a bigot.

By: bfra on 3/30/10 at 7:41

VinnyT - Sorry to hear this and best wishes at whereever you choose to go.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/10 at 7:43

I for one will miss you Vinny. Keep in touch and join in from time to time and let us know how you are doing.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/10 at 7:44

James the Dorky Warrior ready himself for battle.

By: bfra on 3/30/10 at 7:46

Nemo - Looks like a good outfit for Rush!

By: Blanketnazi2 on 3/30/10 at 7:49

Vinny, bfra and I might have some work for you. LOL

By: Blanketnazi2 on 3/30/10 at 7:50

Is Ron Wynn still writing for the Scene at all? Ron is a super nice guy.

By: Loner on 3/30/10 at 7:50

Good luck, Vinny. I appreciate your coming online here with the inside scoop. I'm sure that the others appreciate it too.

I wonder, is there a right-wing purge under way at the NCP, Clint Brewer style?

The ads all seem to be of the right-wing fringe type lately....the writing is on the wall, methinks.

Here's my default plan, I'll hang out on my new_york-_oner site and pick up any survivoprs floating in the water, if and when the big ship goes down.

i understand that a lot of severance deals stipulate that one cannot bad mouth the former employer; I understand, if the dumped NCP staff remain silent about the shake-up.

By: house_of_pain on 3/30/10 at 7:55

Sorry to hear that you got whacked, VinnyT.
McCormick, on the other hand...

By: Loner on 3/30/10 at 7:58

Correction: my blog can be found by Googling new_york_loner...sorry for the typo.

By: Loner on 3/30/10 at 8:01

Gotta give up the console, I'm at the Java Junction in Brockport, NY. I'll check the board later.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/10 at 8:06

This is for Vinny So long and thanks………

By: MamaG on 3/30/10 at 8:07

Good morning everyone!

Vinny T-good luck to you and thanks!

Kosh, green.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/10 at 8:08


By: VinnyT (not verified) on 3/30/10 at 8:10
Thanks, folks, for the nice words. Don't think this purge was anything in the style of Clint Brewer's dismissal. It simply was about money. Blanket, Ron Wynn plans to do some freelance work for The Scene, and House, don't be so hard on Terry — he loved his job and never complained, and it's hard to find journalists like that these days.
By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/10 at 8:10

oops try this

By: VinnyT (not verified) on 3/30/10 at 8:13
Hey Nemo. you scared me there for a minute. Being Sicilian, I thought the vid was about "swimming with the fishes." We don't want that, do we?
By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/10 at 8:18

Sorry about that Vinny. That was not my intent. Good Luck!!
http://tribechick.mlblogs.com/thumbs up happy face.jpg

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/10 at 8:22

oops again. http://freethumbs.dreamstime.com/402/big/free_4026147.jpg

By: MamaG on 3/30/10 at 8:27

Nemo, I liked the praying mantis!!!

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/10 at 8:31

Thanks MamaG.

I have to go for now.

By: DustyU on 3/30/10 at 8:38

Good morning everyone
This is Joey
I am Dusty's grandson who lives in DC
Grandpa is hanging in there and healing slowly
Bad news about my cousin Brian was killed in a car wreck
Also no news whatsoever about Uncle Jimmy in Chad
Will try to keep you all informed as I get the chance

By: BenDover on 3/30/10 at 8:41

Sucks about the shake-up for all affected. Brewer was that little bald Rumpelstiltskin guy that ripped himself in two when we started calling him Cue Ball and Napoleon, right?

By: house_of_pain on 3/30/10 at 8:42

My condolences to your family, Joey.

By: BenDover on 3/30/10 at 8:43

Brian killed in a car-wreck? Horrible news all around today.

By: brrrrk on 3/30/10 at 8:44

I can boil this lengthy diatribe down to 11 words.....

I don't want to pay for anything unless "I" want it.

With a 3 word addendum of ...

Screw everyone else.

By: bfra on 3/30/10 at 8:47

Joey - Thanks for the news about DustyU and so sorry to hear about Brian. Condolences to the entire family. Also, sad there is no news on JimmyU & family, it has been quite some time now. Keep us posted.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 3/30/10 at 8:47

Joey, I am so sorry to hear that. My deepest condolences.

By: house_of_pain on 3/30/10 at 8:47

This type of thing is why I wouldn't be opposed to a meet-and-greet with our little "family" around here. You never know when the plug might be pulled.

By: Tull on 3/30/10 at 8:48

"You would not vote for Rep. Cooper regardless of what he did because you are a Republican."
I voted for him before and I am a republican but he has betrayed the people that put him in office and has betrayed his own convictions.