Archive for April, 2010

New ideas “crop up” as alternatives to health care reform

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

You may have heard in recent days that a Republican candidate for Senate in Nevada, Sue Lowden, proposed bartering chickens for health care. Not to be outdone, Rep. Mike Bell (R – Riceville), who voted this session to nullify national health care reform with the “Health Freedom Act,” suggested uninsured Tennesseans pay doctors not with poultry, but with vegetables.

His idea was so a-maizing that the Rachel Maddow Show picked up on it and featured Lowden and Bell’s ideas on the April 22 show. Click here to view the priceless clip.

You also can read a brief transcript below of the exchange between Rep. Bell and Rep. Joe Towns (D – Memphis) as Bell explains his proposal:

Bell: They’re [the Mennonites] some of the healthiest people you have ever seen. They pay cash when they go to the doctor. They work out arrangements with the hospitals if their children have to be hospitalized. This is an individual choice that we’re talking about.

Towns: You’re saying they pay cash? For organ transplants and cancer and heart cases, they pay cash?

Bell: I said they pay cash or work out other arrangements. I know for a fact. I know someone in the medical field who has been paid with vegetables from the Mennonite community.

Towns: That’s an anomaly. That’s not how the system works. I can’t take a sack of vegetables down to the utility company and pay my utility bill on my house. Nobody’s going to take vegetables for payment. We can’t run the country on vegetables and horse trading.

We think Tennesseans should take Rep. Bell up on his idea. If he knows of doctors who are willing to trade health care for vegetables, he should let us know! Click here to send him an email, describe your ailments, let him know what you can afford to pay in vegetables, and ask him to find you a doctor willing to accept the arrangement. If he gets back to you, please share his response with us! And if he doesn’t…well, maybe he’s just “full of beans.”

Once you’re done, post this on Facebook, tweet about it, and forward this message to your friends so Rep. Bell can see just how many people would like to take him up on his “solution” for an affordable health care in Tennessee.

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TNDP Chair Asks Republicans To Work With Democrats To Ensure Fair Elections

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester is requesting state Election Coordinator Mark Goins to provide a statewide list of purged voters immediately so efforts can be made to ensure legitimate voters have not been disenfranchised like those potentially in Benton County.

Forrester pointed to a recent WSMV-TV Channel 4 investigative story detailing the actions of the Benton County Election Commission, which invalidated 2,100 voter registrations for various reasons, including a simple failure to check a box.

“Many of those people have been voting for decades in Benton County,” Forrester said. “To all of a sudden claim their registrations are invalid because they failed to check a box is ridiculous. How many more law-abiding, registered voters across Tennessee will be denied the right to vote on Election Day?

“This just further demonstrates the mess created when Republicans fired a bunch of competent, longtime county election administrators after the 2008 elections. Some of those newly hired administrators evidently are either using poor judgment or playing partisan games. Neither one is acceptable.”

If affected voters do not correct their registrations by July 31, they will be ineligible to vote in the August 5 primary, local officials have said.

Republicans took control of local election commissions in all 95 counties after the November 2008 elections, firing many county election administrators soon thereafter. That prompted a federal lawsuit to be filed on behalf of several former county election administrators contending Republicans violated their constitutional rights by conspiring to treat their jobs as political patronage.

“We see now what can happen when political patronage is used to hire election administrators,” Forrester said. “They let Republican Rep. Matthew Hill get away with not properly filling out his nominating petition in Washington County, but they want to purge Benton County residents who have been voting for decades because they didn’t check a box. This kind of behavior is damaging our political process.

“I’m asking Mr. Goins, Secretary of State Tre Hargett and Tennessee Republican Chairman Chris Devaney to put aside partisan politics and work with me and other Democrats and Republicans across the state to fix this problem right away,” he added.

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