One of my the very first blogging projects that I researched and started writing but never quite got into a form that was worth publishing was a post on the lessons of TennCare. That’s the subject of an op-ed at RealClear Politics from Tennessee Republican Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Phil Roe (hat tip: Glenn Reynolds). I commend it to your attention.
One of the things that’s not mentioned in the article is that TennCare achieved its objectives. People stopped using emergency rooms as their primary care providers. The resultant savings were no where near enough to keep the program afloat. In my view the real lesson of TennCare was that unless costs are controlled it will inevitably erode political support for a system of universal coverage. There’s just so much that taxpayers are willing to pay for the routine healthcare of people whose lifestyles may be more lavish than theirs.