Jumping on a Partially Invisible Bandwagon

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It's a bit disconcerting to see the level of early editorial enthusiasm for Gov. Bredesen's new health care initiative, "Cover Tennessee," given that key program details remain sketchy. A Tennesseean editorial labels it logical, modest, workable, and affordable. Columnist Gail Kerr calls it "not perfect" but "good." And it may be these things.

And it may not. Readers should look at the initial assessment of the program by the Tennessee Health Care Campaign, which raises legitimate concerns about affordability, coverage, and the pull on federal funds. For many of these concerns, it's not that advocates like THCC see the plan differently; it's that there isn't yet sufficient detail. One question I'd toss into the mix: Will the "modest" coverage involved in this plan protect families encountering unexpected catastrophic illness from financial ruin?

My point is not to bash the governor here; he's seeking helpful solutions, and I'll even give him a minor pass on the seemingly crass election calendar timing of his decisons about when to take away health insurance coverage, and when to extend it. But it does behoove pundits and editorialists to explore the thing in detail before giving it their public policy blessing.

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