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HomePoliticsRep. John Tanner’s Vote Jeopardizes Health Care Reform

Rep. John Tanner’s Vote Jeopardizes Health Care Reform

Vote Against House Ways & Means Reform Bill is a Vote Against Fixing Our Broken System

changethatworksJACKSON – By voting against America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (H.R. 3200) before the House Ways & Means Committee, Rep. John Tanner voted against fixing our broken health care system.

“When I see Congressman Tanner voting against acting now to improve health care, it tells me that he’s profoundly out of touch with ordinary working people in West Tennessee,” said Ella Parham of Jackson. “I was looking forward to retirement after my career as a teacher. Now I have to keep working to help pay for health care. Failing to fix health care is not an option. We can’t afford to wait any longer for real health care reform.”

Tennesseans need reform now in order to save their hard-earned wages. Since 2000 alone, average family premiums have increased by 77 percent in Tennessee, at a rate almost 3 times as fast as wages. Tennessee businesses and families pay an extra $900 per year on premiums as a direct result of subsidizing the costs of the uninsured.

“Thousands of Tennesseans are standing up and speaking out about the need for reform that provides access to quality, affordable health care for every man, woman, and child,? said Tony Cani, State Director of SEIU’s Change that Works campaign in Tennessee. “Putting the brakes on meaningful reform means doing nothing to hold down costs, doing nothing to help working people get secure health care, and doing nothing to protect the quality of health care. Rep. Tanner should stand with Tennesseans, not the special interests.”

About Change That Works

Change That Works is a grassroots campaign of the Service Employees International Union. We are working families and community allies united to win guaranteed, affordable health care for all.



  1. Healthcare costs in this country are bloated beyond all measure, and this will reduce them. It’s a fact. Business in America has to pay a surcharge to be in this country, they have to pay more for the healthcare costs for their employees than business pays in every other country in the world, even when you allocate the extra taxes they pay into the equation. This costs American jobs, you want to know why they outsource American jobs to India and China? One reason is the cost of healthcare in this country. There is an additional cost our businesses pay which is the loss of productivity from unhealthy employees having to take time off because they do not receive even basic preventative medical care. Personally I think we should do single payer, but my elected officials are not listening to the 60% of Americans who want that. They are instead listening to those with money and a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

  2. Bill, this will reduce PRICE, not COST. There’s a difference. The COST of this will be JOBS. Do you honestly think the “rich” people who are going to be taxed to implement this plan will simply “absorb” the new taxes? Don’t you think they will cut costs by laying off employees, raising their prices or spending less, thus injecting less money into a stuggling economy? The rich people have car payments and house payments too, so the COST will be passed right down to each individual. My point is, since you’re going to have to pay for it anyway, why not forego paying the middle man(government) and just purchase it yourself or find a job that provides health care. 55% of private business in Tennessee already do that so those jobs aren’t very hard to find. You must ask yourself why healthcare costs are “bloated” and you need to look no further than the government for your answer.

    • I said that it will reduce cost and thus reduce the prices. The biggest issue with healthcare besides the lack of competition is the extra pricing pressure placed on the system to generate ever larger profit margins for Wall Street. Jobs will be gained because the expense of having a employee will be reduced. The costs of healthcare and other benefits for a new employee prevent smaller companies from hiring more people even when they are in dire need of more hands. Middle management is the for profit insurance companies. I would rather see the saving go directly to the doctors and hospitals than to scummy insurance companies any day.

      Medicare is a model of efficiency when compared to the current for-profit model.

  3. How will this reduce cost? The work still has to be done. All you are talking about doing is taking the profit away from health insurance companies. If profit is such a bad thing, why doesn’t the govenment take over every aspect of free enterprise? If “profit margins” bother you, there are many other areas with much greater profit margins that can be addressed. The concept you fail to grasp is that competition inherently keeps profit margins down, while more government regulation helps to keep costs up. I knew you’d bring up medicare as a model of efficiency but that logic is flawed. The so called administrative costs proponents are spouting are more smoke and mirrors and parlor tricks. For example, private health insurance has to bill people for premiums. Medicare does this on everyones paycheck. The private sector has to collect premiums, but Medicare has the IRS to do most of this. Just because that particular administrative cost doesn’t fall under their jurisdiction doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Since Medicare doesn’t have to advertise, they have no administrative costs in that department. Don’t forget they(Medicare), contract out much of their administrative costs for billing to private companies. Theres no consensus among health care professionals(private and public) on how these costs are measured in the first place. At best, its an apples to oranges comparison. I suggest you look into the CBO’s estimates regarding this issue. The average administrative costs, INCLUDING advertising and profit, came to 12 percent of the average customer’s dollar. A side note is that it fluctuated greatly between companies from as low as 7% for some large companies and up to 25% for smaller ones. The REASON health care costs more isn’t because of increasing profit, its because you’re PAYING for more. New technologies and medical advancements occur daily and people don’t develop them for free. The strict government regulations and testing only drive the cost up further. No amount of socialization will reduce the cost, only the price and the difference will have to be made up somewhere. Even if we could eliminate the administrative cost entirely, it won’t stop cost from increasing. Its easy to blame the people for profitting from their business as greedy or corrupt, but the facts suggest that’s not what’s causing the costs to rise.

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