Dear Task Force,
I have been following with interest your task force meetings. I have read everything I could find and when possible talked to people who are there. I got to attend about half your meeting in Knoxville before I got called out with a family emergency.
More than ever I am convinced of one thing. The only answer to 280,000 people without insurance is 280,000 people with insurance. That message came through clear in the little bit I heard yesterday. Time after time I heard some version of we need a payer source and if we have that we can make it work. Absent that we are looking at catastrophe both on a personal level for thousands of people and a systemic catastrophe that in time will cripple our health care system. Clinics are great but as the man from Cherokee said some people just need to go to the hospital and an answer that doesn’t make that possible is not an answer.
I am I admit confused by your charge. Is find a conservative answer the same as find an answer? Following your meetings the answer to that question is not clear to me.
I am just an ordinary person and lack much of the knowledge you have. I certainly do not envy you the position you have or the responsibility you bear and my constant prayer is that you find an answer you can live with that indeed is a true answer. I am in the gap and have met many people whose daily life is a struggle and threat. Many of them don’t really understand why it is so hard for the people in power to see what life is like for them. After waiting 2 years for a conversation that never happened they wonder why it is so hard for so many to even show the smallest sign of caring. Everyone I know prays you are that conversation.
To me it is simple :
1. Provide insurance. Close the gap.
2. If you don’t like the mechanism provided by Insure Tennessee then find a better way.
3. If you can’t find a better way and if the real options can’t be framed in conservative terms you can live with then be honest. Tell people there is no solution you can live with. The truth is this. Many people already believe this. They think there is no real option you can live with. I pray they are wrong.
I apologize if you have read anything I have said as a personal attack. That is not my intention. My intention was only to be honest. I hope that my criticisms have been misplaced. 279,999 people hope the same thing.
But the burden really is on you.