Monday, July 20, 2009

Blackburn Drags Out TennCare's Corpse: 'We've Tried Gov't-Run Health Care Already'

Posted By on Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 7:46 AM

click to enlarge oie_blackburn.jpg
Thanks to Marsha Blackburn, TennCare has become the poster child for what's wrong with a public option in health care reform. Blackburn went to the Heritage Foundation last week to rail against TennCare and pretend to know what she's talking about:
"There is no example that you can point to that shows where having private insurance in competition with the public option brings the costs down. It leads to exploding costs."
That has led to this article (and many more to come doubtlessly) in which the main point is this: TennCare didn't work out so well, therefore any health plan involving the government won't work either. Here's Craig Becker, president of the Tennessee Hospital Association:
"The public plan they are talking about in Congress makes me nervous, because it does seem like TennCare a lot. Once people got on TennCare, they wouldn't get off because it was a better deal [than private insurance]. There were several court cases to get people off the rolls that didn't belong. I have no doubt we would go down the same road nationally with a public plan."

This logic, of course, ignores Medicaid and Medicare, which along with Social Security have lifted generations of Americans out of poverty and helped them live longer, better lives. It would be more productive to look at what went wrong with TennCare and how to avoid making the same mistakes. But then, that would defeat the purpose of Blackburn and the Republican right wing, which is to kill health care reform for the insurance companies.

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