Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Lost In The War News

With all the war reporting, it's not too surprising that this story, from Friday's Commercial Appeal got lost in the shuffle. The paper only carried it on the inside page of the Metro section, another casualty of their war over-coverage.

Governor Phil Bredesen announced that he's delaying some TennCare changes indefinitely, so that an out-of-court settlement can be reached. Among the delays will be dropping those who failed to re-enroll, or were cut for not meeting criteria, and raising rates for some.

You can thank Gordon Bonnyman, of the Tennessee Justice Center, the constant hobble on the engine of change for TennCare. He seems hellbent on seeing any Tennesean, or anyone who can cross the State line, kept on maximum benefits. He's also tried to stop any change attempted in TennCare. Bonnyman is a one-man-show for socialist health care.
TennCare advocate and attorney Gordon Bonnyman said he had been particularly worried about a provision that would have cost about 150 enrollees, most of whom are dependent on ventilators to breathe, the private nursing care that allows them to stay home rather than in hospital intensive care units.

"That's not a huge number, but the effect would have been very dramatic," Bonnyman said.

The governor's delay in benefit changes will cost the state about $24 million in the current fiscal year, TennCare officials say, but it gives officials the opportunity to settle lawsuits that have been costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars.

Bonnyman, who successfully has filed a number of lawsuits against the state on behalf of TennCare enrollees, said the governor's decision - and earlier action allowing people dropped from TennCare to reapply - gives him hope the cases can be resolved to the benefit of all involved.
Oh good! I'm so glad this one-man government is satisfied. Note that he's cost the State hundreds of millions of dollars, money that could have gone to health care, and not to lawyer's incomes.

Thanks, Gordo. And I guess I should be razzing the Governor, but I understand his logic here. I can only hope he takes the same uncompromising stance with Bonny-brain that he's taken with the State Legislature and the bureaucracy. Time will tell.

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