Governor Haslam Must Not Like Poor People - And Response

Sunday, December 1, 2013

I do not understand why Tennessee's Governor Haslam does like poor people. This letter is meant only for readers with low incomes and no health insurance, specifically for people younger than 65 whose income is less than $16,000, or who are part of a couple whose income is less than $21,400, or who are part of a family of four whose income is less than $32,500. 

Did you know that the U.S. government — yes, your government, the one you pay taxes to — has offered to enlarge the pool of those eligible for the free medical insurance offered by the Medicaid program? This is not Obamacare. Medicaid insurance is a good health care plan. The only problem is that Tennessee’s governor — that’s Republican Bill Haslam — has said no. He has turned down this free medical insurance for you and your family. Maybe he thinks you don’t need it.  

It’s tough to watch your family get sick and suffer, and it’s tough for the more than 300,000 other Tennesseans who have now become eligible for this extended Medicaid insurance but can’t get it. Haslam doesn’t need it. He has enough money to afford the best.  He will tell you about his alternative plan, but no one has ever really seen it, and he has never submitted it to Medicaid for approval. 

Perhaps that’s because it is designed to be a handout to big insurance companies and would insure fewer than half as many people. That’s the Republican way. 

Governors of other states apparently care more about their poorer citizens than does Haslam. They’ve signed up their states so their citizens can get this new Medicaid insurance. After all, the U.S. government is going to pay for most of it. It’s not going to cost the states. What’s not to like, Governor Haslam? I guess it’s poor people.

Lynn Morehous

Knoxville 

* * * 

Another letter from Knoxville. Is this an organized letter writing blitz? Is this attorney David Lynn Morehous of Morehous Legal Group PLLC or attorney Lynn G. Morehous? 

If I were part of a couple whose income was less than $21,400, after taking the $20,000 standard deduction and exemptions last year, we would have paid a total of $141 income tax. So my federal government to whom I paid 0.6589 percent (yes, the decimal and percent sign are both supposed to be there) income tax is offering to expand free medical insurance. If we made exactly $21,400 last year, we would have paid $310.30 into Medicare and our employers would have matched that amount. We would have paid $1,326.80 into Social Security Retirement and our employers would have matched that amount. I would pay no other federal tax, except specific taxes such as what is included in the price of my gasoline. 

I don't think my $141 would fund very much, so someone else's taxes would have to pay the costs for that free medical pool of which you speak. 

Let's not forget that other states have an income tax. Maybe they fund their "caring more for poor people than Governor Haslam does" from the income tax they collect. Maybe they have an abundance of attorneys whose income taxes can fund it sufficiently. Who knows? 

Does this offered expansion come with no strings attached? No orders from DC to spend some amount of money with none of those funds obtained federally, all to be raised through state taxes. If the funds do have to come from the state, a fee on attorneys that cannot be passed on to their clients, such as the insurance companies will be assessed by Obamacare, might be able to fund it. Who knows? 

You say no one has ever really seen the governor's alternate plan. How is that any different from a federal representative saying they don't know what's in Obamacare and they have to pass it first, then figure it out? Not that I believe either line we're fed is any better than the other. 

Macel Holloway
Signal Mountain


Joe Smith Will Make An Incredible Difference

While now in retirement several hundred miles from Chattanooga, I was still quite excited to hear that my friend and colleague of many years, Joe Smith, had decided to run for the District 3 seat on the Hamilton County Commission. What an incredible difference he will make as he serves your community.  For a number of years I served in a counseling position at McCallie School. ... (click for more)

Run, Gerald McCormick, Run For Mayor

Run, Gerald McCormick, run for mayor!  That was the best news I have read all week.  Save my hometown from grossly failing circus tent policies that are not renewing the inner cities, infrastructure, and reduce the long term bond debt of Chattanooga leveraged against the tax base of about $900 million.  The huge circus tent on Lindsay Street is in need of ... (click for more)

City To Begin Shipping Much Of Its Garbage To Bradley County

City Public Works Administrator Justin Holland said the city plans to begin shipping much of its garbage to Bradley County. He said the deal is projected to extend the life of the city landfill at Birchwood by 15 years. Mr. Holland said Bradley County "has a huge landfill and takes garbage from Knoxville and other municipalities. It's regional." He said Bradley County charges ... (click for more)

Man Says He Did Nothing To Provoke Shooting At Bakewell Gas Station; Suspect Says Victim Was Coming Toward Him

A 33-year-old man who was shot in the face during a clash at a Bakewell gas station said he did nothing to provoke the shooting. The man charged said the victim cursed him, then started toward him. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck, after a hearing on Tuesday, bound to the Grand Jury a charge of attempted first-degree murder against Donald Stuard II, 29, of Old Washington ... (click for more)

Smart Running: Vradenburgh, Boyd Win Again

There’s a lesson to be learned for those young folks who choose cross country as their sport in the fall:  It’s impossible to win a race in the first mile, but you can surely lose one in that same space. As anyone with much running experience can verify, the fastest person doesn’t always win.  Running smart and using a tactical approach with planned pacing often produces ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Wins 7-AA After Beating Notre Dame

The Signal Mountain Lady Eagles took care of business at home Tuesday night as they swept visiting Notre Dame by scores of 25-15, 25-19 and 25-19 to claim first place in District 7-AA with a 10-0 district mark and 30-8 overall. Audrie Johnson had 11 kills while Kate Barry added 17 digs and 11 assists.  Nicole Terfloth finished with 18 digs and three aces for the winners ... (click for more)