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  • Learning from State Experiments in Government-Run Health Care

    U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn issued a warning to her Senate counterparts who are introducing massive health reform bills this week: Learn from Tennessee’s experiment into “nationalized” health care.

    “All approaches for a nationalized health care system simply don’t work, and we saw this with TennCare,” Blackburn said this week during a discussion on the future of employer-based health coverage at The Heritage Foundation.

    In 1995, the state implemented TennCare, a health program modeled after Medicaid. While it covered more uninsured adults, the budget-busting program grew at a 1.5-percent annual rate, with costs skyrocketing from $2.5 billion in 1995 to $8 billion by 2004, Blackburn said.

    “This program started to consume every new dollar that was generated in the state,” Blackburn said. Additionally, Tennessee residents who already had private health insurance were dropping their plans to get on the free health program, she said. “We started hearing stories of individuals trying to buy ‘uninsurable’ letters so they could get on TennCare.”

    By 2005, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen cut 170,000 adults from the program and reduced benefits for thousands more to get a handle on the soaring costs. “Our experience with trying to do universal coverage ended up being a disaster,” he recently told the AP.

    All of these issues could be repeated on a much larger scale if Congress passes through legislation this summer that would put more of the health care decision-making power in Washington, Blackburn said. “People know that the health care system is not working as it should and certainly the government has a role in helping the sector become more cost-effective and cost-efficient.”

    But the solution is where Congress is finding a deep divide. One group of lawmakers is pushing for government to take a far greater role in the health care system through mechanisms like a public health insurance plan. Another group has proposed patient-centered approaches, such as changing the tax structure of health benefits so that more families and individuals could purchase affordable health insurance they would own.

    As Congress moves rapidly on this issue, Blackburn stressed that policymakers should focus on incentives for businesses and workers to buy health insurance, rather than punishing employers into providing or subsidizing health benefits.

    “We need to have a collaborative effort and find common ground on things we agree on in health care reform. You also have to include market forces and keep any reform on a patient-centered focus.”

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to Learning from State Experiments in Government-Run Health Care

    1. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      National Health Care Questions

      1. The Federal Government runs Medicare. How is it doing?

      2. The Federal Government runs Veterans Administration. How is it doing?

      3. The Federal Government runs Social Security. How is it doing?

      4. The Federal Government runs TARP. How is it doing?

      5. The Federal Government wants to run National Health Care. How do you think it will do?

    2. Pingback: In Our Own Backyard « Justbkuz

    3. Pingback: Health » Learning from State Experiments in Government-Run Health Care …

    4. Barb -mn says:

      The government has to stop! They are not running on the best interest of the country. While they admit not letting a crisis go to waste, they're manufacturing them at every and any opportunity. Spending OUR TIME AND MONEY!

    5. Pingback: Round-up of recent Republican legislative intiatives « Wintery Knight Blog

    6. John Roane Sarasota says:

      As a 100% disabled veteran I can personally speak to how well the Veterans Administration runs health care. It makes Canada and Great Britain look great.

      You can't get the meds that best treat your condition, appointments in time to reduce your illness or risk of injury, nor see a doctor who can help you with your illness or injury because of lack of qualified doctors, funding, rationing of meds and needed supplies.

      If you think I am kidding just ask any veteran. Why is it that when a veteran has private healthcare insurance they choose it over the VA system? I am not that lucky anymore and must get by with rationed healthcare. Thank you US Congress.

    7. Victor, Las Vegas says:

      Is this a typo –

      While it covered more uninsured adults, the budget-busting program grew at a 1.5-percent annual rate, with costs skyrocketing from $2.5 billion in 1995 to $8 billion by 2004, Blackburn said.

      A 1.5 percent rate of growth would amazingly small. Most government programs grow by 4-6 percent annually.

      Or am I reading it wrong?

    8. Jeff, Cleveland OH says:

      Ozzy6900 it seems that is all that would need to be said! I would like anyone to show me a social program that the government has run without cost overruns, corruption, and something other than poor results.

    9. duelles, santa fe says:

      Someone before me has commented that Google is a consumer driven search engine. What consumers want, Google supplies. Google thinks we know what is best for us. Our Government may do well by going in that direction too.

      Why would our Govt want set up a loser of a system? Are they a bunch of losers?

    10. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      Health care will be handed out on the basis of how young the person is, the younger the better the care, us old folks will have to give up any hope of help under the socialized medical care program. I am a vet and know how the VA does medical care. People need to go to the nearest VA Hospitl and see for themselves how "guvernment" medicine is doled out. Like many others I put it off as long as possible, depending on private insurance and doctors, well the time has come when the expences will not let me go the private way any longer. Yes I am getting old, guess I will no longer be a part of a productive society so I must get out of the way. Will you let your family go because of the rationing of medical care??????

    11. Ron. Derry NH says:

      One has to admire Obama's steadfast tenacity at keeping the topic alive of health care, corporate pay scales,and even environmentally safe cars but what he is really up to is destroying capitalism and Americas ability to secure its own future by demoralizing all that earn their way in this country.

      He is aggressively keeping the momentum of change going while his true intention is disrupt American productivity and subvert the culture with political coerced value instead of earned value.

      Notice how every move he makes secures another government vested interest with your tax dollars.

      This seems to be a tactic to insure followers of government partnering against the people and free enterprise, to secure monetary protection at your expense.

      I don't know why any one cares about his ideas as they are all a smoke screen of leftist ideals, like a carrot in front of a horse or cheese on a mouse trap, designed totally to take your eyes off his re-inventing of Czarist Russia and a socialist regime control from Washington with his willing power base.

      If he trusted or cared for America he would let the economy settle down and let chapter 11 correct the mess congress did to our bank value system with its mindless frauding of the housing market values with artificially low interests rates.

      If this is simply agenda driven it should fade, but if it's because the government can't fix the mess they made of the economy and Washington is panicking, then things are worse and heading that way at the speed they are selling out capitalism.

    12. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      Yes Sir thank you to the vrt commiting on The V.A. We all need to keep a close eye on califonia to-day, because if the federal government stays its course we will all be in that boat soon, and there will be no bailout.

    13. George in Mass says:

      The problem is that government will not stay out of the area's they have no business being in. They do very little right but the majority of them keep getting re-elected time after time after time….What does that say about the American people. The whole thing is pretty sad.

      Don't look to the government to do what they should be doing as that is gone until we vote them all out of office. It is their government now not ours.

    14. George in Mass says:

      Massachusetts is the same mess. The governor gave out phony cost as usual and now that he can't pay for his forced health care insurance he has raised the sales tax from 5% to 6% (that's an increase of 20%) Raised cigarette taxes and now wants to go after other area's to pay for this not working insurance plan. These government people are just plain idiots.

      Do you know that the circumstances today are far beyond what the Founding Fathers were fighting for? They went to war over much less because they saw it, and rightly so, as our freedom being stripped from us. I believe more and more that it will take a bloody revolution to get back our God given freedom.

    15. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Huey Long tried to run all the programs in his State of Louisianna. He made great speeches, lots of roads, hospitals, jobs, but in the end he was just a crook who stole most of the money from the People, left his State in debt, and ran a cruel and unyielding Empire, where coming up against him could bring death to you and your loved ones, or at least cost you your business.

      Seems like Mr. Obama may have forgotten his duties under the Constitution, but he remembers Huey!


    16. Carolyn Troiano, Che says:

      My name is Carolyn Troiano, and I need help going after Obama for a major Free Speech violation. He is violating my First Amendment right to free speech by trying to prevent me from voicing my opinions on a tax-deductible contribution supported internet site.

      If you go to My.BarackObama.com, a website funded by tax-deductible money, you will see how they’ve set up tools and other resources to help people push the Obama agenda forward – the topic du jour is healthcare reform. People are told to create and attend events that are supportive of Obama. This is how they stole the election.

      So to turn the tables, I went on the site and created my own event, a “GIGANTIC TEA PARTY” up on Long Island in my hometown of Merrick.

      I set this up as a “Take Back Our America” event, and spread the WEALTH (Watch Every American Learn about Healthcare reform) like the Tea Parties of late, and included posted a call for all like-minded citizens to join me. All of the information is at my website:


      The Obama webmaster responded by email saying my words were disrespectful, and that they had taken my event off the website.

      The warning stated that this was a one-time warning, and if I did this again, I would have my access to the website taken away.

      So what’s a girl to do? Create another event. This time it’s in Chesterfield, VA, this coming Saturday, June 20th, at my home or in spirit with me, and I made sure there is room for 1 billion people, in case those disgruntled Iranian voters want to revolt and join our cause too.

      I led the charge to taking back America with a simple statement to the President –

      “Mr. Obama, tear down that firewall!”

      That’s my motto, and I’m taking this as far as I possibly can. Ronald Reagan must be turning over in his grave!

      I’m seeking your help to give some visibility to this fight and let the Obama dictatorship know we will not stand idly by while our own tax dollars continue to be squandered on his Socialist agenda.

      So let me know if you can help, and if you have any suggestions for ramping this up and getting all Americans to understand what’s going on here. Most have no clue.

      Thanks for your time and attention!


      Carolyn (McKillop) Troiano

      13613 Blue Heron Circle

      Chesterfield, VA 23838

      804-590-0055 (H)




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