This Can’t Be Real
February 6, 2009, 2:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Admittedly, hating on insurance companies is a bit of a hobby of mine, but I’m puzzled by recent reports that President Obama is “in serious discussions” with former senior HMO executive Phil Bredesen to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Bredesen isn’t just an ex-HMO executive, he’s the current governor of Tennessee, and his record does not suggest that he is particularly interested in increasing access to health care.  According to an attorney who I trust on Tennessee policy issues:

  • Bredesen  presided in 2005-2006 over the deepest cuts in a public health insurance program in the nation’s history. The cuts took $1.9 billion a year out of the state’s health care system. The 170,000 disenrolled was the largest single increase to that point in the number of uninsured and accounted for a third of the entire national growth in the number of uninsured.
  • Tennessee is one of two states (the other being Mississippi, where Gov. Haley Barbour also cut Medicaid) that in 2005 bucked the national trend in steadily declining infant mortality. Tennessee’s infant mortality rate rose in 2005 to 9.0 per thousand. Tennessee is 45th in infant morality among the states. Memphis, the state’s most populous city, has the worst infant mortality rate in the nation. Gov. Bredesen is now cutting the state perinatal network’s funding by 50%.
  • Tennessee ranks 50th in support for home and community-based services as alternatives to institutionalization. Two months ago, a federal court found that the Bredesen Administration’s cuts in home nursing services violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by forcing people into nursing homes.

I believe that Candidate Obama meant it when he promised to make health care accessible and affordable to all Americans.  So I’m sure the reports that Bredesen could become President Obama’s point person on health care are mistaken.


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[…] Sebelius has a lot to offer the Department of Health and Human Services.  Most importantly, the fact that she is not Phil Bredesen. No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI […]

Pingback by This is Better « Overruled

[…] Filed under: Uncategorized Former HMO Executive Phil Bredesen, whose principal accomplishment is stripping 170,000 people of their health care while served as Governor of Tenneessee, has been floated as a possible HHS Secretary.  About five […]

Pingback by Shorter Phil Bredesen: You Don’t Matter « Overruled

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