Skip to comments.(TN Gov) Haslam warns 'easy money' for budget woes gone
Posted on 02/07/2011 8:40:38 AM PST by Tennessee Nana
NASHVILLE -- Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says the "easy money" answers to budget problems have been used up and that dealing with the recession's aftermath and a loss of federal stimulus funds is going to hurt.
"We have to now go back and make those hard decisions, and I think they're even harder than I thought they would be," the Republican governor said last week as he finished four days of public hearings on the state's 2011-12 budget.
Last week, heads of 26 agencies trooped before Haslam, outlining their best efforts to identify additional cuts of 1 percent to 3 percent to plug a $185 million deficit and create room for other needs.
Proposals ranged from laying off state troopers and releasing felons from prison more quickly to slashing community services for the mentally ill and ending spiritual and social counseling for dying Medicaid patients and their families.
And then there's TennCare, an $8 billion-plus state and federally funded program that provides health care for the poor.
Starting July 1, roughly $1.17 billion in cuts is scheduled to kick in unless hospitals agree to keep and enlarge a hospital assessment fee that draws down matching federal dollars for the program. TennCare officials say that will bring caps on hospital stays and other restrictions on care.
Tennessee Hospital Association President Craig Becker said hospitals will accept raising the present 3.52 percent assessment to about 4 percent. That would raise about $400 million, Becker said, and eliminate previously slated 7 percent cuts in provider reimbursements.
But the TennCare Bureau has proposed another 1.5 percent rate cut and called for an end to funding for counseling for terminally ill TennCare recipients.
Contact Andy Sher at email@example.com or 615-255-0550.
(Excerpt) Read more at timesfreepress.com ...
Here are some of the proposals to cut state spending up to 3 percent:
* $26 million: Cut provider reimbursements another 1.5 percent
* $14.9 million: Cut payments for C-section births
* $ 14.5 million: Stop paying for end-of-life emotional, social and spiritual counseling for patients and families
* $8.4 million: Cut payments to emergency room doctors for non-emergency services
* $6.5 million: Shut down privately operated Whiteville Correctional Facility
* $6 million: Slash state contracts.
* $5.7 million: Release some felons 60 days earlier if they complete re-entry programs
* $3.3 million: Pay less to local jails that house state prisoners
* $2.4 million: Cut 35 positions in Tennessee Highway Patrol
* $2 million: Cut staff at youth development centers
* $900,000: Eliminate 26 positions at driver license centers
* $1.39 million: Abolish 14 positions, reduce payroll equity
* $1.18 million: Cut out hemophilia program and shutter two primary care clinics
* $375,000: Contract for early intervention visits for disabled children through age 2
* $300,000: Reduce funding to connect schools to the Internet
* $250,000: Cut recurring funding for seven public television programs
Source: State agencies
Gee, a grand total of 75 jobs? Wow, isn’t that a little excessive? I mean, state and municipal employees are the most productive in the world, right? That’s why they seldom, if ever, get cut, pay freezes/cuts, benefit freezes/cuts?
Let’s start with Constitutionally mandated “services . . . cut those first. After all isn’t that the “easy” part? And gee, elected officials weren’t put there to make “hard” decisions, now were they?
Sheesh, what insanity.
$8.4 million: Cut payments to emergency room doctors for non-emergency services
This is a goody..
If it goes through the illegal aliens wont be able to use the TN ERs as a family doctor..
...Unless that only means that the doctors are still required to “offer” those services, and now they get stiffed.
Its against the law for any ER to refuse treatment, emergency or non-emergency to anyone for any reason. In short they will still be treated...
“non-emergency” also ???
In an ER ??? as in EMERGENCY ???
You sure ???
Then how do you explain this ???
Doctor’s orders: Go to Mexico (because she is an illegal immigrant)
GALVESTON The crushing news came last month as Maria Sanchez was being prepared for surgery to remove a banana-size tumor along her spine that had crept between her vertebrae.
Unable to use her right hand because of the growing tumor, Sanchez, 24, had been at the University of Texas Medical Branch’s John Sealy Hospital for six days when, she said, a Spanish-speaking doctor told her she had to leave the hospital immediately because she was an illegal immigrant. The doctor said she should have surgery in Mexico, according to Sanchez. .....
....Aguillon eventually took his wife to at least five hospitals and three clinics. Aguillon finally moved from Galveston to Houston so he could qualify for care at Ben Taub General Hospital, where she is being treated....
Apparantly FIVE hospitals besides this one and THREE clinics refused to treat her...
They cant all be in the wrong...
Tennessee is not Texas...
Did you even read that story?
It clearly says in the story that even in Texas ER visits are required by law, its once the treatment moves outside the ER that’s Texas law no longer mandates it. But that the hospital has an ethical obligation to continue that care...
The biggest parts of state budgets now go to pay for federally mandated services which cannot be cut unless the state is willing to lose billions in federal road subsidies.
I am sick up to here with “the poor”.
It’s the United States of America, for crying out loud - - graduate high school, get a job, work hard, advance, make a career or start a business. Raise a family. Rinse and repeat. If government will only stay out of people’s faces, out of their wallets, and out of their way, most people will do just fine.
Just going after removing the illegals and the fraud should bring TennCare down 5 or more percent.
They are using the Med’s ER as their doctors office here in Memphis for routine stuff like flu, colds, earaches.
Arizona has a program that covers all uninsured under a certain income level. The homeless now use the hospitals as hotels to get out of the heat or rain to get a bath, a clean bed and three meals. Some of them go from one hospital to another.