Tuesday, December 16, 2014

When You See History Marching Right Past You. . . Just Jump In Front, And PRETEND To Lead It: "Tennessee, Leading From Behind"

As I've repeatedly written for going on two years now, Tennessee's stubborn, wrong-headed failure to accept federal health care funding (in the form of a Medicaid expansion) for its poorest citizens -- all in some misguided "stand" against Obamacare -- was a deep disservice indeed, to the people who put Gov. Haslam in office.

He's finally seen the light. Or. . . the green, actually. In either case, I am thankful that people like Mr. Casteel (depicted, lower right) will have some minimal coverage, now. History had judged Tennessee's Republican majority to be in error. At least the Governor can now admit that. I don't care about the obvious sophistry of calling the expansion a different name -- the important thing is that his people will FINALLY get some coverage and benefits, all as envisioned by the ACA of 2010. Per Bloomberg, overnight, then:

. . . .The Obama administration supports in principle. . . . Indiana, Utah, Wyoming and Alaska [and now Tennessee] are [all] considering an expansion, at least 90 percent of which would be funded by the federal government.

All of the states cast their expansions as departures from the traditional Medicaid program, in which participants pay little or nothing toward their care and the government compensates most doctors and hospitals directly. Their modified programs would generally require individuals to bear more of the costs of their health care. It’s a compromise that lets state Republicans work with the Obama administration even though their party rejects the health-care law.

“We made the decision in Tennessee nearly two years ago not to expand traditional Medicaid,” Haslam said in a statement. “This plan leverages federal dollars to provide health care coverage to more Tennesseans, to give people a choice in their coverage and to address the cost of health care, better health outcomes. . . .”

It is not a Medicaid expansion -- if I say it is not. . . really, Mr. Haslam? Sheesh. It's an ugly win, to be sure -- but I'll take it! Carry onward! [More background here, here and here.]

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