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Comment Archives: Stories: Politics

Re: “Haslam Announces "Insure Tennessee" Plan for Medicaid Expansion

If I had ANY control over the Democratic party, I'd ban key phrases:

*Public option
*Co-op health insurance (non profit coops will never have the finances to "compete" with private for profit or non-profit in name only companies like Blue Cross/Blue Shield)
*Health exchange
*Mandate to purchase
*Our health plan was a remake of Romneycare (which is absolutely true)

The Democrats say words that don't resonate with people. People don't understand what public option means, they don't care. I'd even go further and ban party members from saying single payer. Americans who don't follow politics and make up those independent swing voters don't have a clue what any of this means, and it has no effect on their vote.

Medicare is single payer, so just say Medicare. Focus on what your grandma and grandpas have. People can identify with this, people understand it, it isn't political-speak.

This is what Democrats have to learn, they have to understand how to communicate before they can expect a vote. Today they don't have a clue as to how to form policy or communicate properly.

Single payer sounds nice among us who understand the phrase, but Medicare for all is what needs to be said. People understand that.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by BJ on 12/17/2014 at 9:08 PM

Re: “Haslam Announces "Insure Tennessee" Plan for Medicaid Expansion

The Democrats are very lame, the party is lame. I vote Democrat, but I rarely expect them to know what they're doing. But at least they aren't insane and incompetent like Republicans.

Democrats have every tool at their disposal to market and campaign on it. WE ALREADY HAVE SINGLE PAYER, but its for ages 65 and above only. Medicaid is not really single payer as its now a hodge podge of state programs where some just provide vouchers, like Tennessee's new program.

If Dems will stop being so pathetic, they'll start marketing things that people already understand. Everyone has a grandma or grandpa that likes their Medicare. If a politician can't market that as saying "I want that for everyone, not just ages 65+" then that politician should retire and go home.

This stuff isn't rocket science. And the next two years while Democrats have little effective power except for Obama's office, they need to study these issues and learn how to govern again. If you learn how to govern, people might vote for you again.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by BJ on 12/17/2014 at 9:02 PM

Re: “Haslam Announces "Insure Tennessee" Plan for Medicaid Expansion

Thanks, it seems like this is something that would make sense. Medicare works for above age 65, why shouldn't it work for everyone else?

It wouldn't require lots of taxes, the elderly are already the most sickly and expensive types of patients. Its why Medicare exists.. private insurance isn't willing to take them on and pay for it.

If you convert the money businesses pay to private insurance industry and transfer that to the Medicare fund, then you alter the FICA taxes a little, we could have universal health insurance and lower the cost of health care by law.

It takes bold, serious leaders who understand that power of government and power in the ballot box isn't communism, its called democracy. For far too long conservatives have taught mistrust and conservatives have misled Americans to think democracy is communism. If you dare to do anything via government, its somehow a bad thing.

I happen to think private insurance denials of service or exorbitant charging and doctor over-billing should be regulated at the ballot box. If we the people demand it to end, it will end.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by BJ on 12/17/2014 at 8:44 PM

Re: “Haslam Announces "Insure Tennessee" Plan for Medicaid Expansion

Thumbs up, BJ. Nice posts with good ideas. I favor a single payer system, too. I hope it happens.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jenna C'est Quoi on 12/17/2014 at 6:28 PM

Re: “Haslam Announces "Insure Tennessee" Plan for Medicaid Expansion

"The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence[note 1] and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;"

I'd say that the health of the citizens falls under the general welfare of the US. :P

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Drew Mason on 12/17/2014 at 3:33 PM

Re: “Haslam Announces "Insure Tennessee" Plan for Medicaid Expansion

BTW, selling off the VA health system hospitals would instantly rid the wait list problem they encounter as all veterans would instantly be offered Medicare and could choose any doctor they wish.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by BJ on 12/16/2014 at 10:30 PM

Re: “Haslam Announces "Insure Tennessee" Plan for Medicaid Expansion

As an addendum to the above comment, the USA would be better served if Medicare replaced Medicaid, CHIP, the VA health system, and private insurance would then become a supplemental and optional purchase for more "cadillac" health services as it has often been described.

Medicare expansion and reform could be implemented over a 10 year period. Start by abolishing Medicaid, CHIP, VA, etc. then redirect those funds to Medicare. Increase the Medicare tax and implement a law that forbids doctors to deny patient care and must, by law, accept Medicare payments for services rendered.

You could start by allowing all aged 0-25 to become Medicare beneficiaries. Then continue implementation by lowering the Medicare age to 55 the next year, then 45 the next, then 35, then 25. This would be a 5 year implementation plan.

Once its fully implemented, Medicare would be the standard insurance for everyone - with zero co-pay, co-insurance, and no premium that is portable and to be used for any doctor or any hospital nationwide as doctors and hospitals would no longer be able to legally deny patients care.

Any services not provided under Medicare would then be served by purchasing supplemental private insurance.

This would control costs, allow for choice, and be the only true universal coverage option.

It works for people ages 65+ already, why are the rest of us discriminated against?

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by BJ on 12/16/2014 at 10:28 PM

Re: “Haslam Announces "Insure Tennessee" Plan for Medicaid Expansion

I usually am skeptical of people who want to determine the definition of the constitution on my behalf. "Constitutionalists" probably can't interpret half of what is in the document to begin with.

With that being said, Insure Tennessee is a half-baked effort to hand over public tax dollars to private insurance industry, have beneficiaries deal with the excessive co-pays, co-insurance, and premiums that the voucher may not cover. Remind you these are people who cannot afford insurance to begin with, they are the working class and unemployed poor.

However, American style health care is such a miserable and unending nightmare of excessive debt that something is better than nothing. So of course even liberal groups in Tennessee, brow beaten and denied anything for years, will support even the few pennies and dollars that go toward some resemblance of health care.

Sad story really, Haslam gets to parade as some governing moderate while he's socking the working poor with extra costs than other states like Kentucky or New York that provided full Medicaid at no cost.

Tennesseans still get short-changed, and until America gets it that health care should be a right, where all have guaranteed public insurance that covers basically everything, health care will always be a mess here.

And yes, its constitutional. Medicare for aged 65+ is public insurance that covers the most costly beneficiary: elderly adults. It works well and isn't bankrupt. Its only bankrupt if politicians WANT it to be bankrupt.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by BJ on 12/16/2014 at 10:21 PM

Re: “Haslam Announces "Insure Tennessee" Plan for Medicaid Expansion


Politics is the art of the possible.
There are no political forces seeking to implement your plan.
Therefore, its lack of a formidable advocate make it impossible.


1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by OakTree on 12/16/2014 at 9:46 PM

Re: “Haslam Announces "Insure Tennessee" Plan for Medicaid Expansion


Give it rest.

The Constitution means exactly what the Courts determine it to mean, not what you interpret it to mean.

If you want to get elected or appointed to a judgeship, by all means do so and we can all isten to your views on the Constitution.

But right now, you are pissing into the wind with those arguments.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by ArlingtonPop on 12/16/2014 at 12:17 PM

Re: “Haslam Announces "Insure Tennessee" Plan for Medicaid Expansion

This article also applies to the Tennessee State Constitution, whereas, healthcare is not a function of the Federal and State Governments. None of you seem to realize what the U.S. Constitution has to say about it. In Art.1, Sec.8, under the category of General Welfare, we have a list of particular functions of the Federal Government, i.e. post office, roads, coin money, military and court systems and a few other duties. If it isn't mentioned there, then it is a jurisdiction of 'We the People' according to the Tenth Amendment. Health care nor any welfare program is listed there. The Conclusion is that health care is not the function of the Federal Government nor State Governments. This makes it theft of taxpayer funds for the Federal Government/State Governments to have jurisdiction over this area, and a violation against one's oath of office to uphold the tenets of the U.S. and State Constitution. There is no easy answer to this dilemma of the high cost of health care. It originates with medical device companies charging exorbitant rates, medical implants and suppliers charging a lot and high salaries due to malpractice insurance. Tons of government red-tape also cause the high cost. The best solution is the '3-C' system: C is for 'cash' for minor care, i.e. flu's, shots, etc. C is also for 'catastrophic insurance' for major surgeries or malignant diseases with high deductibles, and lastly, C is for 'charity, i.e. churches, families, charities in general.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by CHG on 12/16/2014 at 12:12 PM

Re: “Haslam Announces "Insure Tennessee" Plan for Medicaid Expansion

The key phraseology here is that if the federal government cuts any funding, the program immediately terminates.

Remember, Tennessee had to slash TennCare due to costs or it was going to bankrupt the state. TennCare was a bloated, fiscal disaster. Democrat Gov. Phil Bredesen made those cuts. It doesn't seem that Cohen remembers that?

I think this is a positive development, given that it's cost-neutral for Tennessee.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by bjc123 on 12/16/2014 at 10:40 AM

Re: “Haslam Announces "Insure Tennessee" Plan for Medicaid Expansion


I agree.

Too bad we will only have him for four more years.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by ArlingtonPop on 12/15/2014 at 8:46 PM

Re: “Haslam Announces "Insure Tennessee" Plan for Medicaid Expansion

Also, AP, after seeing a year of how things shook out for Kentucky and Arkansas, Haslam was in a much better position to know what specific changes he wanted in the general plan, before he backed the expansion. It was the wise decision. This is the kind of guy we need as governor.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by OakTree on 12/15/2014 at 8:39 PM

Re: “A Varied Field Lining Up to Fill Luttrell's Shoes as Sheriff

Never believed Owens death was suicide. I still don't believe this!

Posted by Beth Bartlett on 12/15/2014 at 6:56 PM

Re: “Haslam Announces "Insure Tennessee" Plan for Medicaid Expansion

Amazing what reasonable people can accomplish once elections are out of the way.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by ArlingtonPop on 12/15/2014 at 11:38 AM

Re: “Rep. Akbari Will File Bills to Curtail ASD's Options

Paula Kirsten Peyton, thanks for your catch. The change has been made.

Posted by Jackson Baker on 12/13/2014 at 9:01 PM

Re: “No Rest for the Weary

Never has been more apparent to me, that lawsuits are the recreational pass-time of those with a surfeit of money or privilege, than at this very moment.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by OakTree on 12/13/2014 at 4:28 PM

Re: “Sen. Kelsey, Rep. DeBerry File Bill Aimed at "Racial Profiling"

This is opening a conversation, not the whole solution.

I applaude DeBerry and Kelsey for being proactive in starting that conversation, before a local crisis requires it. They are showing other states, who are attempting to deal with the situation, in much the same way as the proverbial ostritch deals with things it doesn't want to see, that Tennessee is a place that gets things done, and that we aren't afraid to confront uncomfortable realities when it is required of us.

That's kind of why we Volunteer around here. There's a problem? Let's fix it!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by OakTree on 12/12/2014 at 7:17 PM

Re: “Sen. Kelsey, Rep. DeBerry File Bill Aimed at "Racial Profiling"

Let's get the word "disparate" out of there and I'm OK with it.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by GWCarver on 12/12/2014 at 10:03 AM


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