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Friday, May 27, 2005

The other boat

There is an alternative plan to the Governor's “safety net.” The long and short of it is that the Governor's plan insures 100,000 people who are uninsured. The group being chosen by the Governor have access to health care coverage, but for different reasons don't have any or have chosen not to purchase it. They cost less per person to cover because they are for the most part, healthier. His plan will also give some funding to local clinics as well as initiate a dial a nurse program, none of this plan is eligible for federal matching funds.

A different plan being proposed by Doctor Hensley, a fellow state representative from Hohenwald, covers a smaller number of enrollees, 60,000-but this group is comprised of much sicker people, with permanent or chronic problems, or older and permanently disabled type individuals.

This pool is uninsurable (no one will sell them insurance at any price). This is different than being uninsured as the above group. Many of these enrollees are currently paying premiums to the state now, and will continue to pay if left on the program. To cover this group would be much more expensive to the state, but with this plan we continue to receive federal matching funds (therefore the cost is the same.)

We are currently down to one plan or the other, and the budget waits for one or the other to be chosen. I know I did not give enough details about either plan-both have many more details as well as pros and cons. I have seen little from the Governor concerning any real reform. I have seen a lot of political strategizing.

I trust the doctor and the amendment he has put forward. I support Doctor Hensley's plan. I feel strongly he has carefully studied what is best for both the enrollees and the taxpayers.


  1. I have worked all my life and never drawn a penny of unemployeement, workers comp or any other benefit. Now I'm 64 and totally disabled and can't work anymore. My wife is on TennCare because she is uninsurable and I can't provide group insurance for her anymore. I have never asked anyone for anything in my whole life but my wife needs TennCare to survive.

  2. i sympathize with Jack and others like him. However I first would like to know how his wife became uninsurable. Was she insured prior to becoming uninsurable? What about COBRA? My concern is how many like her were in the reps first group before they moved to this group. Do they in effect want after the fact coverage?

  3. My wife had been a "high risk" on our group policy for about 25 years. Fibrous breasts four operations - hysterectomy because of fibrous tissue - high blood pressure - cholesterol - ill regular heart beat - arthritis - and several minor problems. I had group insurance until 2002 when I could not work anymore. Our policy at work was $2100.00 a month with cobra costing about 1500.00 a month on an income of 1400.00 disability. So far this year she has had over $100,000 of operations. Her drugs cost about $700.00 a month. We have a 42 year old severally retarded daughter that has and will always be with us, so even if my wife could physically work she could not she must take care of our daughter.

    I have revealed several personal things about my wife but I feel you should have a thorough explanation since she is sucking off the tax payers. I have never drawn a penny of workers comp, unemployment, or any other benefit and it kills my soul that we are in the position that we have to "bum" off the taxpayers.

    Thanks for caring,


  4. Rep,
    Thanks for blogging. Trusting the author isn't good enough. As a legislator you must examine and understand the legislation. We would love to hear the details and try and convince other voters and our Reps.

  5. Jack- you truly need help and I hope you get it. I seriously doubt that people like you make up more than a tiny fraction of the uninsurable. You should resent the greedy and/or professional victims from sucking all the oxygen from the room. Without them there could well be plenty of resources for people like Jack's wife. Tenncare/socializes medicine is not the solution--IT'S THE PROBLEM!

  6. I, too, am uninsurable...I have been from birth. I have cerebral palsy. My disability doesn't mean that I can't live an active life, have a job, a family, and a home. I can and do have all of those things...but no insurance company will insure me...I am too "high risk," in spite of my best precautions. On any given day at any given moment, I can take a fall, slip in the shower, or some piece of equipment that I do need, like my walker or wheelchair, may break. For me, these things are facts of life...

    I have one of two choices...

    1.) I can sit at home on my rear and draw a government check each month. I am legally entitled to do this until I die because I have a permanent, provable, from-birth disability... or...

    2.) I can get off my rear-end, get a degree, and get a job.

    I chose option 2.

    In either option, I would need health coverage that I could not get. By choosing to be a productive member of society, I am also paying taxes.

    Now, I think TennCare is a wreck...but I need health care coverage and I have ABSOLUTELY no other option. If TennCare can be "saved," it is those of us who DO work hard but have no other options that ought to be considered.


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