Wednesday, September 18, 2002

But Still, There's No Money To Save There

As Paula Wade argued above, there's no savings to be had from TennCare. No, none at all.

Then there's this story from today's Commercial Appeal to refute her. Ah well.
The state mental health department has entered into $71.4 million in
noncompetitive consulting contracts, paying "excessive fees" for work
that state employees could have done for less, Democratic
gubernatorial candidate Phil Bredesen charged Tuesday in Memphis.

Use of such contracts is "clearly out of control'' and Bredesen said it
reflects a failure of leadership and unwise use of taxpayer dollars at a
time of budget crisis.

He cited Rick Campbell, who with his wife, Colleen Reynolds, have been
paid $2 million for consulting work in the Arlington Developmental
Center court case over the past six years.

Bredesen noted the state is paying Campbell $265,000 a year, eight
times the pay of the average Tennessee state worker. The long-term
use of such consultants is "inexcusable," Bredesen said, promising
changes if elected governor.
Of course, when Hilleary made similar, if vaguer, claims, Wade made him out as someone who wanted to throw sick people into the street to die. It will be interesting, to say the least, to see Wade finesse Bredesen's claims.
Tennessee Finance Commissioner Warren Neel said most of the
contracts result from court orders against state mental health facilities.

Neel said Campbell was recommended by then-governor George W.
Bush, who said Campbell had done a "superb" job for Texas in a similar
The charge in the first paragraph comes from the advocates of TennCare who want to use the courts as a cudgel to make TennCare meet every conceivable need they can squeeze in, the same people that Wade quotes with po-faced dishonesty. The second paragraph? Hmmm...Republican Governors (Sundquist, Bush), presidential campaign, favors, and the story in the next post. Don't think this is more of the same, do you?
Lucrative contracts have not gone to friends of the administration, but to
people who can perform jobs required by court order, Neel said.
Competitive fees must be offered to obtain the most qualified people, he
Yeeeeeaaaaaah, right. I'm not disbelieving. No, not at all.

I'm sure the CA will get around to investigating this. Yes I am.

Until next time.

No comments: