Up for Debate: Haslam passes on exchange

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 1:14am

What do you think of Gov. Bill Haslam's decision to let the federal government run a health insurance exchange program instead of the state?

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

98 Comments on this post:

By: BenDover on 12/11/12 at 9:18

Here's what happens with every bureaucracy... be it government or private. Some once-in-a-million critical incident arises and instead of looking at it as such; they put in an additional control that interrupts the normal progress of work on every transaction so that it can never happen again. This cycle continues until jumping through the hoops and controls to prevent a few hundred rare exceptions adds almost no value but makes the system completely unbearable to anyone (think TSA). Then in the case of the private sector another company comes along and realizes eating the one in a million exception is better than making everyone suffer the cost of the numerous ineffective controls on every transaction.

Since in the public sector there's no incentive to undo the damage because when you come in under budget your budget gets cut and no competition is nipping at your heals for the business; these costs in time and money are lost and never recovered because they can never be measured against a competitor and can only be measured against an intangible what-might-have-been.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 9:18

Apparently that is so, g. I was talking about reducing administrative costs and fraud and now he pretty much says I'm anit-Capitalist. What a joke. I guess Ben thinks fraud is a good way of making money? He and Raspy should get together.

By: Loner on 12/11/12 at 9:18

Factor in the malpractice claims and the cost of malpractice insurance into the US formula...that's not chump change.

Factor in the fact that the medical professions, big pharma, big insurance, lawyers and employers all have special interest clout in Congress. Scroll down the list that you'll find here:


How many other modern democracies are similarly hobbled by legalized bribery on a scale this grand & complete? I think that we lead the world in this area. Tolerated corruption translates into wasted dollars and ineptitude.

Why do we tolerate this?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 9:19

So, using your one-in-a-million example - what is the one-in-a-million incident in this case, Ben?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 9:21

BTW, the whole market wouldn't become single payer. I would still have my private insurance provided through my employer as would many other people. So that is a moot point, Ben.

By: gdiafante on 12/11/12 at 9:22

I agree Loner. They have more clout than we, the people, that's for sure. We know who really runs this country, and it isn't the government.

Yeah, that's a sure sign of Socialism...when Capitalists can bribe, influence and basically write government policy...lol

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 9:23

United Corporations of America.

By: BenDover on 12/11/12 at 9:28

Blanket... private insurance is necessarily going to cease to exist when they remove the ability to discriminate against pre-existing conditions.

It's not insurance any more... at best they are medical claims administrators because there's no way chance diversification of risk can result in anything but a loss.

You'll get your single payer alright... I'm not so sure if you'll be able to find a doctor to visit though. And medicines will be price controlled alright. Interestingly they'll end up having to do it like they are going to have to do SSI. They'll index the cost of medicines to your income / wealth.

'Fundamentally Change America' is what Obama said he wanted to do. Yep.

By: gdiafante on 12/11/12 at 9:33

Oh Christ Ben, even the most vociferous anti-Obama nuts think the pre-existing condition portion was warranted. You really are chicken little.

By: pswindle on 12/11/12 at 9:40

The reason that Haslam is going to let the Federal Government take control of Obamacare, he is unable to deal with it. There is no one in his administsration that could take this on. He should have rehired Gov. Bredesen to come in and set the program up. He can run just so long on the last administration, he has to take the reigns of governing.

By: yogiman on 12/11/12 at 9:41

How many of you are old enough to remember when the USSR made the statement; "we will bury you with your own shovels"? It looks like we have been shoveling the hell out of our nation since then.

How soon will it be before our heirs are buried in the USSA (total communism)? Could it possibly be as soon as Obama can gain "control" of Congress? He seems pretty close now.

We now have communist organizations operating openly. Are any of you members of the Communist Party USA, as was Obama's communist mentor Frank Marshall Davis, a friend of his grandparents and mother who were also members? Or perhaps the Democratic Socialist party?

I remember when Harvard, Yale and Columbia College were considered the best universities a kid could go to school in the USA. How many communist professors do they have today?

By: Loner on 12/11/12 at 9:45

Ben paints with broad brush and a slap-dash style: Since in the public sector there's no incentive to undo the damage because when you come in under budget your budget gets cut and no competition is nipping at your heals for the business; these costs in time and money are lost and never recovered because they can never be measured against a competitor and can only be measured against an intangible what-might-have-been.

Well, Doctor Dover, with all due respect, your argument is based upon myth, stereotype and right-wing canards....for example, The US Postal Service once dominated the entire spectrum of delivery service: from letters, magazines and newspapers, to parcels, bundles and rolls....the old Post Office Department (precursor to the USPS) enjoyed a golden period of prosperity and the competition was minimal.

Today, the US Postal Service has been the victim of cherry-picking privateers and pro-privateer regulations that hinder the USPS from competing with these well-connected predatory enterprises.

UPS, FedEx, Airborne and the others tried to snatch the Postal Service's most profitable services and they were largely successful...the USPS was left with providing cost-ineffective services.

Now, if we factor in the internet with it's E--mail Twitter and Facebook etc. one can see how and why first class letter volumes are way down...revenues are correspondingly down, as a result of these and other factors...things like rising fuel costs, funding pension plans, robotic sortation etc.

One of the biggest public sector employers, the USPS, is now cash-strapped and hurting....the result of cherry-picking competition from privateers, hobbling federal regulations, an overzealous, ill-timed real-estate & physical plant expansion and new communication technologies, not "an intangible what-might-have-been".

By: BenDover on 12/11/12 at 9:46

You can't force private insurance companies to accept pre-existing conditions and still call it insurance, gd.

Why would I buy 'insurance' until I was sick?

That's like calling to get a policy with Allstate after my house catches on fire.

They should have gone with a taxpayer funded national catastrophic-care risk pool kind-of like what they do with the floods in coastal regions. It would be charity in the beginning for those already affected but would eventually evolve into a low-cost catastrophic care insurance for every citizens. And then Obamacare could have come in with about 2073 pages less of heavy-handed top-down bureaucratic and political graft opportunity.

By: yogiman on 12/11/12 at 9:49

Isn't that Barry's intent, BenDover, to take absolute control? I mean, what "president" before him took over industries and told their executives; "you're fired"?

By: BenDover on 12/11/12 at 9:52

Can't stay and play today guys. Enjoy your health exchanges... and your 'free' medicine... and your unprofitable postage.


By: BenDover on 12/11/12 at 9:58

One more for the road... special for you Loner.

Avian Zionist spy captured in Sudan:


By: Loner on 12/11/12 at 10:02

Ben uses the term "charity" rather loosely...churches deal in charity, modern democracies deal in mandated entitlements. Christian churches tend to believe that charity and good works are optional and not required for salvation...belief in Jesus is sufficient....there's no necessity to be charitable...thus the poor languished in desperation for centuries, back when the churches provided the social services.

I prefer the modern secular approach to dealing with the human condition.

A constitutional, secular, democratic republic, mandated by law, to provide for a social safety net, has worked out much better than the old faith-based ways....we humans tried it Ben's way...we got Dickensian conditions....the idea that government should promote the general welfare is a great idea....a revolutionary idea that has a proven track record of success...we can thank the Founders for their vision.

By: yogiman on 12/11/12 at 10:04


Just wondering: How many of our "congressmen" have finally read the Obamacare bill. Their staff must have read it for them because they considered they were too good for it.

If Barry can take the private industries, why doesn't he take over UPS, FedEx and Airborne? After all, we could use that money, too. Bigger question; why did congress allow private industries to take over the federal postal services?

That's like selling the government weather services to private industries. Can you imagine the different competitive forecasts your would get from every different TV and radio stations. Even different forecasts in newspapers?

I guess you could just take your choice like advertisements.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/11/12 at 10:06

To answer your question gdia, the Feds would be far better than Tennessee law makers. Look how they run things for years and look what took at e last year. Ramsey!

By: Captain Nemo on 12/11/12 at 10:10

Loner, Ben has a big brush.

By: Loner on 12/11/12 at 10:13

Ben rides off into the real world, leaving his cyber-buddies without addressing my post about the postal service, posted @ 9:45....he left that missive in the mailbox...some folks tend to do that when they don't like the look of the mail....they let it mellow at the roadside....see you later, Ben Dover.

Ben's about the only sane and cogent rightie left on this board...actually, "sane & cogent righties" is something of an oxymoron lately....the slack-jawed and nutsy Tea-Baggers have tainted the GOP brand...folks just ain't buying it anymore....hate is out of fashion.

By: bfra on 12/11/12 at 10:21

Ben is a fence sitter. He likes to play both sides, IMO, but fools no one. He is a Teabagger from the gitgo & tries to camouflage it.

By: Loner on 12/11/12 at 10:29

Sitting on a fence? A posterior pierced by prickly picket fencing can be positively painful.

By: Loner on 12/11/12 at 10:30

If one must sit on a fence, make it a wide one.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 10:32

Our need for healthcare workers is exacerbated by our problems with affordable education in this country. Many of our talented doctors are recruited from outside the United States because it's so hard for students to pursue higher education here.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 10:33

No one is expecting "free medicine" Ben. You wingnuts are really ridiculous. Any measure taken to help make healthcare affordable is perceived as a threat.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 10:35

These idiots fear the government but don't mind being controlled by corporations and their ruthless and corrupt CEO's.

By: bfra on 12/11/12 at 10:38

Blanket - Two of the best doctors I have ever had were trained in the military. A dentist & MD. I have been told that military doctors are trained on the latest & best equipment available. That could be the reason.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 10:45

Good point, bfra.

By: gdiafante on 12/11/12 at 10:54

Things must've changed in the past 20 years. I remember going to the Navy Hospital on Lejeune and thinking how archaic it was.

But there has been quite a technological revolution since then...

By: slacker on 12/11/12 at 11:02

Hey bfra, at your next Doctor's appointment at Fort Campbell... how about picking me up a carton of Camels at the PX.

By: bfra on 12/11/12 at 11:11

slacker - LOL My MD is at Vanderbilt & the Dentist is in Columbia TN. Wrong direction!
Does anybody smoke Camels anymore?

By: slacker on 12/11/12 at 11:15

Not anybody that's alive. lol

By: bfra on 12/11/12 at 11:25

Got that. LOL

By: slacker on 12/11/12 at 11:50

It seems to me, that since this new entitlement is now for sure.. the law of the land, and is gonna happen. it would be more efficient for one governing body to administer it.
Allowing states to set up exchanges, would probably result in different interpretations of guidelines, and lead to legal arguments with the Feds.

By: yogiman on 12/11/12 at 12:10

So you're confessing to be a left winger, eh, B2? You prefer government control instead of private control?

I was taught our government was in office to represent we common citizens, not dictate our lives. Where are we and they now? They no longer feel like our employees, they feel like our employers. They seem to feel like our parents today; you do what we tell you to do or you'll answer to me.

Who besides me has never voted for a politician for more than two terms. It's usually only once for me as soon as I see how they operate in their office.

By: slacker on 12/11/12 at 12:19

I was clumsily trying to say.. its a Federal entitlement, the Feds. should handle it.

By: bfra on 12/11/12 at 12:25

I think the Feds are more qualified that the bunch of monkeys we have running this State.

By: gdiafante on 12/11/12 at 12:31

The states love to whine about states rights, and how they're better suited to carry out these programs, the Feds finally throw them a bone and they defer.

Not surprisingly, sixteen states that have deferred are...wait for it...Red states. Then again, it makes perfect sense, they're so used to being on the teet it just becomes natural for them to let the feds take the lead.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 1:07

g, you're right about that. The Red states definitely use more federal funds yet whine about "states rights."

By: Captain Nemo on 12/11/12 at 1:20

That is what I said bfra. We've seen what a mess they did with Tencare.

By: Funditto on 12/11/12 at 1:26

OMG. I go away for a year and it's still the same old song and dance with yogi and syd et al...

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 1:27

FUNDITTO!!!! Long time no see!

By: yogiman on 12/11/12 at 1:45

Wouldn't they let you play with a computer when you was 'stationed' in Atlanta out on McDonough Blvd., FUNDITTO?

I thought that was a great place when I worked there.

By: bfra on 12/11/12 at 2:19

Welcome back Funditto! Just ignore all the old song & dance, makes the discussion go much better.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/11/12 at 4:57

Hello Fun.

By: budlight on 12/11/12 at 7:45

Blanketnazi2 on 12/11/12 at 8:31
Sure. Single payer means that there is one party responsible for filing claims and that everyone pays the same rate for procedures. Right now, 5 different insurance companies will pay 5 different rates on the very same thing. Single payer prevents that from happening.

Thank you and I went to the website. Yes it is a good explanation. But I guess I just can't see the benefit in having the government administer the insurance for the entire country. I'd rather stick with the free market enterprise. How does the government administering the whole country's insurance help everyone? Just wondering.

Government is already too big and too expensive -- and extremely inefficient.

By: yogiman on 12/11/12 at 8:54

Amen, budlight,

But that's the government's goal; complete takeover of we, the citizens. After all, we're only paying their wages, what they do in none of our business. Especially if it isn't in their interest.

Isn't that very familiar to socialism, just one step short of communism?