Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Phil Bredesen as Heatlhcare Czar?

Yep. That's what I've heard anyway: he could be on the shortlist for the job.

No, I'm not joking. The Obama Administration is considering appointing the man who, as governor of Tennessee, took a chainsaw to TennCare and made savage cuts to medicaid, leaving hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans suddenly without any access to medical care. In fact, as Ezra Klein notes, Bredesen overemphasized cuts so much so that he actually had money leftover the following year to restore coverage for a small percentage of those who had been previously stripped of access to medical care. Politico reports that during that same period Bredesen received $150,000 from Blue Cross/Blue Shield to renovate his Governor's Mansion. Now that's change we can believe in. I wonder if Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich are next in line after Bredesen.

It's probably also worth mentioning that Bredesen made his fortune as a private health-insurance industry entrepreneur. That such a person could even be mentioned in the same sentence as 'reformist' or 'progressive' (or whatever liberal Democratic activists are calling themselves this week) is preposterous. I'm sure that the DLC applauds his tenure as governor for its 'moderation', 'bipartisan spirit' and willingness to promote 'pro-growth' policies and balanced budgets.

There is also indication, according to BAR, that the slimy right-wing fraud, Harold Ford Jr., could be up for some cabinet appointment as well. (My most memorable recollection of Ford dates back to his 2006 bid for the Senate when he debated Bob Corker in Nashville and stood up from his seat to scream at Corker, yelling 'you haven't cut anywhere near as many taxes as if I have!'... what transpired for the next 10 minutes was a pathetic pissing match between Corker and Ford over who loved tax cuts more).

In Tennessee, apparently, they don't throw away their garbage... they elect it to state-wide office.

1 comment:

Arvilla said...

Aghhh this makes me crazy.

Who'd have known having a Democrat in the office would still be this aggravating!

PLEASE don't let it be Bredesen.