Health care bill passage concerns MMC administrator

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Passage of the federal health reform bill by the U.S. Senate Thursday prompted concerns for both medical providers and taxpayers, said the executive director of Murfreesboro Medical Center.

Senators passed the bill for political purposes and didn’t address the issues people have with health care, said MMC Executive Director Joey Peay.

Congress reported 40 percent of health care costs are driven by personal behavior and 30 percent by heredity, Peay said.

“How do you affect 70 percent of the costs shown through heredity or personal behavior?” Peay asked. “While the attempt is noble, it falls short of what they ought to be addressing.”

In a statement Thursday, President Barack Obama said passage of the bill allows the U.S. to deliver on the promise of real, meaningful health insurance reform that will bring additional security and stability to the American people.

“The reform bill that passed the Senate this morning, like the House bill, includes the toughest measures ever taken to hold the insurance industry accountable,” Obama said.
Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage on the basis of a preexisting condition, the president said. They will no longer be able to drop your coverage when you get sick.

“No longer will you have to pay unlimited amounts out of your own pocket for the treatments you need,” Obama said. “And you’ll be able to appeal unfair decisions by insurance companies to an independent party.”

But Peay noted the bill does not address tort reform, a huge driver of health care costs.
For example, U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon told physicians tort reform for insurance would save thousands of dollars for them.

Physicians who have been sued undergo an emotional trauma, which may cause them to order more medical tests on a patient than needed to protect themselves, the director said.

“It drives up the cost of medicine having to practice defensive medicine,” Peay said.

Peay couldn’t name any part of the bill he favored.

“I think our Congress and Senate have done too much too quickly and there are going to be unintended consequences come out of the legislation the American people are not going to like,” Peay predicted. “What that starts happening, how quickly can those situations be rectified becomes a real concern.”

Opinion polls show Americans don’t want what Congress proposes.

And Peay fears the costs.

News reports stated the government will start taxing for health care now and the program doesn’t start until 2014.

Peay wonders how health care will be funded beyond 2014. This is not just a federal issue because state’s fund Medicaid programs. Because of “bribery” deals, Nebraska and Louisiana will not have to incur additional Medicaid costs, which is wrong in Peay’s opinion. He quoted Gov. Phil Bredesen as saying the bill is an unfunded federal mandate.

The bill puts millions of people on Medicaid with state’s having to shoulder the financial burden, the director said. In Tennessee, professors are being laid off at MTSU because of the economy and budget crisis.

How can Tennessee afford to put another million people on TennCare when Bredesen had to remove TennCare recipients because of a lack of funding, he asked.

Another looming crisis is that physicians are scheduled to be cut reimbursement for Medicare patients by 21 percent Jan. 1.

“That’s going to be a very difficult pill to swallow,” Peay said. “Some physicians have threatened to no longer take Medicare patients.”

The federal government needs to fix the funding calculation for the Medicare program, the director said.

Medicare represents about 20 percent of MMC’s business.

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Health care reform, Joey Peay, MMC
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Members Opinions:
December 24, 2009 at 2:41pm
Just remember that not a single Republican Senator voted yes. Can't blame them when this fails and your taxes are even higher.
December 24, 2009 at 5:06pm
Want to place a bet what side of the political isle Mr.Peay resides on? Sounds like a spokesman for the rnc. Oh and boltaction we will remember that not a single republican senator voted yes.
December 24, 2009 at 5:22pm
I agree with Mr. Peay. I have pretty good insurance and am going to get screwed royally. There are millions of government employees, retired and working, that are getting a Christmas present in the bu**.
I am proud of Alexander and Corker and Bart Gordon too for voting against this Chicago mob, Acorn sponsored bill. America will rue the day.
December 24, 2009 at 6:11pm
I have been unemployed since Feb 2008 and the health insurance I currently have is a joke. I am 61 years old and if I keel over tomorrow and need hospitalization I will either be treated as a charity case or they will just let me croak. Republicans have no regard to basic human suffering even among their own countryman. A pox on their souls.
December 24, 2009 at 8:54pm
ces1948, sounds like you already don't like your government run health care. Don't worry its only going to get worse. You're lines will be longer and you GP is going to realize there are better ways to make money than work for the government.
December 25, 2009 at 8:36am
Mr. Peay...your lies belong in a pot...I'm involved in medical care, and confirm that insurance companies, as presently protected by GOP-enacted laws, comprise the "death squads." And don't worry, you'll have aliving wage, for it's obvious "dollars" is your motivation...
December 25, 2009 at 8:58am
I am getting really tired of Murfreesboro Post passing opinion pieces as real news. This article smells of bias. The comments on here are not true conservative thinkers, just of people that really don't read or understand anything about the political system. They just watch Fox news and quote talking points. You aren't doing any good for yourself or your community. Please take yourselves from the voting pool. I think there should be more fiscal responsibility in the government, but I feel that I can never be a true republican because I can't associate myself with the group of morons in the party or in charge. I am actually considering becoming a modern whig. Finally a fiscal responsible group minus the ideologues and blank slates. The republicans are democrats with out dated social values. They spent more in 8 years than any other party. Why would I vote for that?
December 25, 2009 at 11:41am
Having experienced socialized medicine both as a nurse, then as the relative of many who have had to pay for private coverage because of waiting lists for necessary surgery, weeks of waiting for appointments to see a doctor then more weeks to see a specialist,

The Messiah has repeatedly stated "If you don't want it and wish to keep your present service - you can do so". Sounds good - BUT:-

Allow me to point out to you that the government health insurance premium will be taken out of your paycheck before you ever see it, you will be paying TWO premiums if you elect to keep your present provider.

These people who have shoved this down our throats have given no consideration to the American citizen, the only people who are in favor of this government controlled program are those who think they are getting something for nothing.

And 'Inthis...' I am definitely 'biased' - anyone who has experienced any socialization will be biased.

Merry Christmas!
December 25, 2009 at 5:01pm
Please name one program that the government has run effectively. None! Politicians have repeatedly said that the Social Security fund is going broke, there is no fund! It is funded from the general budget yearly. But they continue to use scare tactics!

Government should become smaller not bigger. GM is bailed out by the government and the bondholders and stock holders got screwed. Most of the bondholders were retired citizens depending on the interest from those bonds to live. Obama gave the best deal to the union who were part of the problem. The union had none of their real cash invested. Obama has appointed high ranking union officials to positions of power with no experience to run their Czarships. Get real!

So if you think that government run health care is going to be better, I just hope that you or your loved ones don't get sick.
December 26, 2009 at 4:35pm
This passage of the bill is like getting coal in my stocking when I've done nothing wrong. The pompous leaders in WashDC are completely out of touch with the people that keep the economy moving in America. The system doesn't work and the leaders are corrupt. What they're trying to accomplish has little to do with the welfare of American citizens and everything to do with getting their names in the history books.
Shame on them. They have NEVER represented their constituents, they have always represented their way-too-long-
Washington Careers!!
December 26, 2009 at 4:57pm
As a consumer with a mentally disabled brother and elderly mother, I have to deal with both TennCare and Medicare on a regular basis. I am literally losing sleep over the debacle taking place in Washington - terrified of what lies in wait for all of us. Socialized medicine is a nightmare.
December 27, 2009 at 9:14am
"Passage of the federal health reform bill by the U.S. Senate Thursday prompted concerns for both medical providers and taxpayers, said the executive director of Murfreesboro Medical Center."

The passage of this travesty should concern anyone with a functioning synapse.
December 28, 2009 at 7:52am
"For example, U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon told physicians tort reform for insurance would save thousands of dollars for them."

That's his proof that tort reform is necessary?! Give me a break. If a doctor accidentally saws off the wrong leg, the patient deserves rightful justice...end of story. The tort reform argument is nonsensical and is meant entirely to undermine justice, and is never backed up by any supporting facts.

This guy offers no valid arguments in his favor whatsoever...mostly hearsay and opinion polls. The article itself provides no meaningful argument against the bill either.

Reading this was a waste of time. People who have a fundamental mistrust of a progressive system need only look at Norway, Sweden and France to see how well such systems work for their population. The insurance companies ARE the death panels, and the bottom line is that if you don't have money, you don't get care until you qualify for an ER visit, and by then it's too late.
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