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Thanks, Joe, for holding Gov. Haslam responsible for his comments and promises from last March when he first declined the $1 Billion per year in Federal funds to cover those who could not afford private health insurance. As you say, he's negotiated with the Feds, he's won on several points. However, he's not brought home any bacon for Tennesseans and he's leaving out the sickest and poorest folks. There's still time for him to do the right thing.
Thanks to Rick Held and the various photographers for their vision of the future of our health care system, especially if the Ayn Rand fans succeed in dismantling the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid. Now that "a job" instead of a "good job" with insurance and benefits is the "realistic" goal of the collapsing middle classes, how long will it be before we're all hearing a version of what the folks lined up at RAM heard about glasses? " We ran out of antibiotics, (or sutures, pacemakers, you name it) come back tomorrow." Will we all be endlessly waiting in lines, needled repeatedly and unnecessarily, powerless to get what we need except from some volunteer we'll never see again?
I appreciate your sharing the summary of Ex-Gov. Bredesen’s prescription for our healthcare system in your 1/13 column. However, I cannot see how he has any credibility with these recommendations. He’s a day late and a dollar short with them. After proving himself to be the health care Grinch of all Grinches by presiding over the largest disenrollment from care of sick poor people in our national history, now he wants to claim he’s really a modified single-payer supporter. After he did nothing publicly to support a better national health care reform package than the Affordable Care Act of which he’s now a front row critic, he claims the reform didn’t go far enough. When he disenrolled nearly 200,000 sick and poor Tennesseans from TennCare in 2005 and kicked them out into the darkness of shortened lives, medical bankruptcy or chronic pain, he signed himself out of the club for the compassionate. He had alternatives, though the press never made them public enough even for discussion. If he believes in the ideas in his book, he had a chance to try them out in 2005 in Tennessee and didn’t even utter a peep. It’s hard to see Fresh Medicine as other than the effort of a man, who still won’t apologize to those he grievously injured, to act as if the harm never happened. It’s hard to see it as other than a message to the Obama administration that if only they’d picked him to be Secretary of HHS when they considered him, he would have saved them from their current fate. I see it as the same thing that Wendell Potter, in Jack Neely’s wonderful piece in this same issue of Metropulse, calls the work of Bredesen’s old colleagues from the health insurance industry, namely, deadly spin.