'Haslam's plan costs Tennessee residents' and more letters to the editors

'Haslam's plan costs Tennessee residents' and more letters to the editors

April 10th, 2013 in Opinion Letters

Haslam's plan costs Tennessee residents

Gov. Haslam, insisting enrollees have "skin in the game," refused $730 million from the feds for expanding TennCare in 2014. His refusal blocks TennCare for 144,500 low-income workers making less than $15,415 a year. His refusal costs jobs in local hospitals and clinics, and triggers penalties for some businesses.

Using Congressional Budget Office estimates, a low earner at 100 to 133 percent of poverty puts "skin in the game" by purchasing private exchange insurance in 2014 and paying 2 percent of premiums plus copays and deductibles. The feds pay 98 percent of the premium, $8,820 per year. Subsidies trigger penalties for some employers. The feds pay more for the private exchange subsidy than for 10 percent cost of TennCare (CBO estimates U.S. Medicaid average $6,000/year).

TennCare, with a 93 percent positive approval rating from its enrollees, cost $3,183 per enrollee a year for FY2010 and less than the $6,000 per year -- U.S. average in 2014.

Meanwhile, Gov. Haslam's refusal leaves a donut hole. Childless adults ages 19 to 64 who earn less than 100 percent of poverty get no TennCare and no subsidies.

Gov. Haslam's hurtful and expensive Tennessee Plan refuses the 100 percent federally funded expansion of TennCare.

PAT COMBS


Abortion vote not about women's right

In November 2014, Tennesseans will vote on SJR0127. Senate Joint Resolution 127 would amend Article 1 of the Constitution of Tennessee by adding that nowhere in the constitution does it protect a woman's right to have an abortion or require that the state provide funding for it. It would also add that citizens have the right through the representatives and senators they elect to amend, repeal or enact statutes dealing with abortion.

Some people may claim this alteration is unconstitutional because it deprives the woman of her right to choose. However, these people don't understand that abortion in itself is completely unconstitutional.

Abortion takes away the unborn baby's right to life, which is one of the inalienable rights outlined in the United States Constitution. From the moment of conception, the embryo is alive. Because of this, abortion at anytime in the fetus's development should be outlawed.

Passing this ballot wouldn't violate the rights of the woman, it would protect the rights of the unborn baby. If this ballot isn't passed, our state's constitution will contain a major error.

LAUREN DRAY


There's an answer to city's gang issues

Gang boys hate the world for dads deserting them. During gatherings outside at College Hill store, I passed a sad, fearful face of one feeling forced. An ex-gang member said, "We were going to die anyway, so we joined." Songs and movies speak death. For it's uncouth to speak of life that's only in Jesus Christ, who died and rose to conquer death.

Since the gang gatherings, four members have been clipped off by murder and prison. But the weapons of our warfare are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, by casting down imaginations.

Put Child Evangelism, a church, and Boys and Girls Clubs in each development.

Scatter gangs to old, empty houses. Include in lease, "To live in a development, all reaching 16 do community service [grass-cutting, planting, repairing, painting, groceries for the disabled/elderly, food bank]; and get A, B, or C certificates enhancing job resumes."

Police said the city does maintenance, and youth having nothing to do become gangs.

PATTY GAAL GODFREY