Alexander Comes to Defense of CoverTN: Is This the GOP Health Care Solution?

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U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander seems to denounce Obamacare every other day — and not enough often to please the tea party — but guess what? He loves the state’s truly crappy health care plan for desperate people with nowhere else to turn.

Ironically named CoverTN, since it covers next to nothing, Gov. Phil Bredesen started this stingy little program in 2006 to assuage his guilt over gutting TennCare and throwing a couple hundred thousand people to the wolves. As Families USA observed in this critique, CoverTN is so barebones it meets almost no one’s needs for basic medical treatment or prescription drugs — and God help you if you actually get sick.

“CoverTN’s limit of five or six chemotherapy or radiation therapy visits per year could present a huge barrier to recovery,” the report said, pointing out that “patients with breast cancer or prostate cancer who receive radiation therapy typically require five visits per week for at least six or seven weeks.”

Maybe CoverTN is the long-awaited GOP health care solution. It’s so bad only 16,000 people are paying for it. It’s so bad you can’t even call it insurance, according to BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, CoverTN’s administrator. In 2007, Senior Project Manager Amy Bercher stated, “We’re trying to make sure that we don’t confuse anyone in the market because this is a limited-benefit plan. We try to avoid calling it insurance.”

It’s so bad Alexander's totally down with it! In his latest press release, he’s expressing outrage because CoverTN is ending.

Under the Affordable Care Act, pathetic plans like CoverTN are illegal, and they soon will be replaced by affordable quality plans available to all Americans in the law’s health insurance exchanges.

This is good news, right? Not in the world according to Lamar! The senator says ObamaCare has “destroyed an innovative state health insurance plan." Get sick and die—now that's innovation! And now he says everyone “will likely be forced by the law into the Obamacare exchanges” like Russians marching off in shackles to the gulags.

Please, senator, we know to hang onto your office you have to say really stupid things. But could you please spare us this little bit of bullshit? It’s exceedingly rancid.

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