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  • TennCare Previews Obamacare's Fiscal Nightmare

    The Wall Street Journal reports today on Tennessee’s experiment with health care reform:

    In 1994, Tennessee launched an ambitious public insurance program to cover its uninsured. The plan, TennCare, fulfilled that mission but nearly bankrupted the state in the process.

    As originally envisioned, the Tennessee plan expanded Medicaid, the government health-care program for the poor, to cover people who couldn’t afford insurance or who had been denied coverage by an insurance company.

    With an initial budget of $2.6 billion, TennCare quickly extended coverage to an additional 500,000 people by making access to its plans easy and affordable. But the program became so expensive that Tennessee was forced to scale it back in 2005.

    The lessons from TennCare are clear:

    • Don’t rush to “do something” for health care without considering the inherent limits of state policymaking and the damaging impact of higher health care costs, which would result from their changes, on individuals and families and on the numbers of uninsured.
    • Recognize that managed care is not some sort of panacea for saving money and that one cannot cut reimbursement of doctors or hospitals without compromising the quality of care.
    • Acknowledge that “comprehensive” health benefit packages will not also be “affordable.” In any case, if the legislature wants to provide government assistance, efforts should focus on those who most need the help.
    • Realize that the only way to achieve high-quality care at a lower cost is to assure consumer choice so that patients will have a reason to become prudent health care shoppers.
    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to TennCare Previews Obamacare's Fiscal Nightmare

    1. Pingback: » Financial News Update - 08/17/09 NoisyRoom.net: Where liberty dwells, there is my country…

    2. Cherryone, CA.. says:

      More proof that Obamacare would be a disaster for America..If the congress gets this bill through,then all that signed on, need to be voted out ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3. too much government, says:

      Obama has no clue what he is doing, other than he wants to socialize everything. He wants government to run everything. Education is next. He has energy. He is going to try and manipulate (what he does best) to get healthcare and then comes education. He wants to turn this place into the next USSR, so people will all have the same 'playing field' and no one will have more. In his mind, no one person deserves any more than anyone else…

      Is capitalism not what this country was founded on? Is capitalism not what drives this country and what has made it great? Obama wants to end capitalism asap. He is quickly getting his way due to these elected senators and congress people who are in Washington. They HAVE TO GO!

      Watch what BO does NOT what he says and one can learn a lot. Bo is a cool customer and doesn't show what is behind his 'mask'–he efficiently dismantled the Clintons didn't he? He will dismantle the USA if WE allow it! Obama is a power monger who wants to rule the world, and the sooner the better. He has his #1 understudy from the Chicago machine running the kitchen and orchestrating everything–Rahm Emmanuel and bro Zeke not far behind to run healthcare. People look at where Chicago is today–revolving days with state/city offices closed due to no money. this IS the Chicago machine, only they have moved to Washington, DC and are going to run your country! There is all kind of evidence about how socialized medicine doesn't work, however, this is NOT about healthcare for all, this is about POWER and CONTROl, doesn't matter the issue.

      We need to get these clowns voted out along with the senate and house in November, 2010. Remember who they are and what they have done as people tend to have short memories, but it all begins with removing Harry Reid, Pelosi, Dodd, et all. November, 2010 is the first chance for change. Let's make it happen.

    4. MPrince says:

      I live in Tennessee and have lived through the TennCare nightmare. I have to commend Gov Bredenson now however for speaking out.

    5. Jeanne Stotler, wood says:

      Remember 2010 all house members are up for re-election and 1/3'd of the Senate, all running for re-election should be scrutinized carefully, their records in congress are public domain, read and see if YOU AGREE with them, if not vote them out, Remember they WORK FOR US, not the other way around. 2010 VOTE VOTE VOTE

    6. Ross writes, Bradent says:

      What is missing from this story is the fraud that ran rampant with unqualified (and rich) citizens from other states, like Georgia, who somehow were picked up on the rolls. Many doctors opted out because fee caps on services. It was such a political and medical nightmare that Tennessee had no choice but to significantly scale it back. Many politicians lost their seat for obstructing calls for reform, if not elimination of Tenncare.

    7. James, GA says:

      TennCare looks exactly like a pilot program for ObamaCare. When Congress started Medicare they underestimated the cost, and now say that Medicare is out of control cost-wise. So instead of fixing the problem, they want to start another, more costly govt program. Even with yearly cutting of physician fees, the costs rose.

      Medicaid does everything possible to avoid doctor reimbursement. That is just one facet of the problem. See today's USA Today about physican shortage.

    8. John Roane Sarasota says:

      We have 50 people who could correct all this. It's the 50 State Governors. They should exercise thier US Constitutional rights and tell the Federal Government they have no authority to do this. But it looks like we have Governors who haven't read the US Constitution or just fear the Federal Government. Please write and ask your Governors to read the first ten amendments (Bill of Rights). When will our Governors stand up and be counted?

    9. Melody Falls, RNC, H says:

      YEAH! Extend Medicaid coverage to those that need insurance and leave the rest of us alone! Work on tort reform. Additionally, the medicaid abuse will slow down dramatically if there were a $5 dollar copay to get into the clinic and a $20 copay to get into the hospital! Stop the frivolous abuse and get HARD on the fraud and the system would stop being a runaway train!

    10. Kevin, Addison,TX says:

      November 2010. Lets make the CHANGE.

    11. Pingback: ObamaCare: Warnings from State Programs « The View from Southern California

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