Gov. Phil Bredesen, who came into office in 2003 promising to "save" and "not dismantle" TennCare, has managed to keep it alive. But he has moved at least 300,000 people off the program rolls, limited the most expensive home care and made it tougher to get on TennCare in the first place.
Still, the program is expected to consume about 24 percent of the state finances under Bredesen's budget proposal next year,a drop from the ballooning 30 percent when he took office, but a long way from the years before TennCare when, state lawmakers remember, they dedicated about 10 percent of the budget to health care.
Not working out so well in Massachusetts:
The day of reckoning has arrived. Threatened first by rapid early enrollment in its new subsidized insurance program and now by a withering economy, the state’s pioneering overhaul has entered a second, more challenging phase.
Thanks to new taxes and fees imposed last year, the health plan’s jittery finances have stabilized for the moment. But government and industry officials agree that the plan will not be sustainable over the next 5 to 10 years if they do not take significant steps to arrest the growth of health spending.
Not working out so well in Hawaii:
Just 16 years ago Hawaii was held up as a model for national universal health-care. Now it is broke and even its vaunted employer mandated coverage is not guaranteeing everyone is getting coverage.
Our federal system was created so that the states could serve as "laboratories" for democracy, trying out programs and seeing if they work. Three states have tried government-mandated health care, and three states have failed at it. Anyone who thinks such a program would succeed at the national level is a liberal political ideologue or a fool, but I repeat myself.
Can anyone, anyone, really expect California to try such a system given its track record of fiscal mismanagement and our current $20 billion or budget shortfall?