The Nashville Post reports that state TennCare director Dr. Wendy Long supports the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal bill and its block grants for Medicaid/TennCare and ACA subsidies.

The National Association of Medicaid Directors, however, is strongly opposed to the scheme. For one thing, they say that it will be virtually impossible for states to implement a totally new Medicaid system in time for the bill's 2020 deadline.

In fact, the State of Tennessee can't even operate the existing TennCare system, which has been around for 23 years. At present, it appears we don't have a functioning enrollment system, despite spending millions of state funds on one that didn't work and had to be thrown out.

Maybe Dr. Long knows something Medicaid administrators in the other 49 states don't, and we really are the model of competence and efficiency.

SEE ALSO:

Tenncare - another failed contract

TennCare fires Northrop Grumman, seeks new vendor for eligibility system

Federal Lawsuit: Tennessee Is Depriving Residents of Medicaid Coverage

Disturbing report: TennCare revoking benefits for state's neediest eligible enrollees

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Fri
Sep 22 2017
05:42 am

The autumn equinox, sometimes called the fall equinox, and known as the first day of fall is today, Sept. 22, at 4:02: PM, in the Eastern time zone in the northern hemisphere .

The sun will be shining directly on the Earth's equator, when night and day are roughly equal length. Then the daylight hours grow shorter and shorter and shorter.

2017 autumn equinox - 7 things to know on first day of fall

Autumn starts today! Here's everything to know about Autumn equinox 2017

15
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Thu
Sep 21 2017
04:30 pm

carrandkids.jpg

Wanted to share an article from my recent newsletter on Derek Carr, who is a NFL quarterback who was the highest paid football player until recently and how his character and giving back are positive examples to all of us.

The $125 Million Dollar Football Philanthropist

13
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Thu
Sep 21 2017
03:16 pm
By: michael kaplan  shortURL

parking_meter.jpg

It would be really nice if the city removed those parking meters in front of our downtown library, so users could check out and return books and a/v material without having to worry about getting a ticket.

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The health insurance industry, after cautiously watching Republican health care efforts for months, came out forcefully on Wednesday against the Senate’s latest bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, suggesting that its state-by-state block grants could create health care chaos in the short term and a Balkanized, uncertain insurance market.

Insurers Come Out Swinging Against New Republican Health Care Bill

Backlash throws last-ditch Obamacare repeal effort into doubt

Entire health care industry fights to kill Republican repeal bill

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I posted this to Facebook earlier. I would like to share it here as well. Sometimes the news can get a bit depressing so it is worth noting that we have had some good things happening locally. It never hurts to think big - - - Cumberland, Urban Wilderness, Downtown, Sustainability, and so much more. As with so much else, public sector success is about vision, leadership, public involvement, a bit of informed risk-taking, and competence in translating concept to reality.

We recently found out that Knoxville is a finalist for the international Bloomberg 2017 C40 Cities Award.

(link...)

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These awards "..aim to share highly replicable ‘best practices’ across cities and draw attention to outstanding performances that have achieved a high level of environmental success in a challenging context".

This is yet another really significant accomplishment for the City of Knoxville. We really appreciate the hard work of Erin Burns Gill, our Director of Sustainability under the leadership of Mayor Madeline Rogero. We are in pretty good company in joining only 10 other US cities including Austin, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Fransisco, not to mention Barcelona, Paris, Copenhagen, and Hong Kong.

There is really great work going on in cities all over the world. I am so fortunate to have had a front row seat for our efforts, beginning with our being chosen to be a Solar American City in 2008. This has been a long road with more than a few challenges along the way. Some may remember this article from a few years ago.

(link...)

We have certainly come a long way. A lot has been chronicled right here on Knoxviews. Thanks to everyone for being a part of the conversation.

26
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Thu
Sep 21 2017
11:20 am
By: michael kaplan  shortURL

Hillary Clinton has been making the rounds of talk and news shows promoting her new book What Happened.

I browsed through a copy and noticed that the exquisitely detailed index at the back was as long as a chapter. It was replete with names.

So I looked for "Goldman Sachs" and found ... nothing.

That kind of explains what happened ...

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Thu
Sep 21 2017
11:16 am

What: 3rd Annual Walk Against Racism and Injustice
When: Saturday, September 23, 2017 - 1:00pm
Where: New Providence Presbyteruan Church and downtown Maryville

Please make plans to participate in Blount County United's Walk Against Racism this Saturday at 1:00 pm.

Meet at New Providence Presbyterian Church (703 W Broadway Ave.) and proceed from there, leaving New Providence no later than 1:15 pm and traveling down Lamar Alexander almost to the 129 Intersection. We will cross the street and travel back up Lamar Alexander to Court House. Water will be provided as well as transportation for those who are unable to walk the distance. At the courthouse, we will sing a couple of songs, have a couple of short speeches/prayers, then travel back to New Providence.

Bring signs and share your message of love in Blount County.

This is a great event, and all are welcome, including children!

Topics:
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Thu
Sep 21 2017
10:08 am

Rep. John Duncan Jr. proven wrong on environmentalists

U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. ended his latest constituent newsletter with this broadside: “Far-left environmentalists almost always come from wealthy or upper-income families who don’t have trouble paying their utility bills.”

Let’s test that assertion.

I took four published polls from 2016, three by Pew and one by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Each had a question about family income and an environmental concern.

(If you are unable to link to the column, send me a message.)

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Graham-Cassidy want to take away health insurance from millions and not provide health insurance for pre-existing conditions. Senators Corker and Alexander from the great state of Tennessee support their efforts.

More from the Washington Post, Another execrable health-care bill proves bad ideas never die.

Just heard Gov. Christie, New Jersey, say that New Jersey has a law requiring coverage for pre-existing conditions. That's one of the many reasons bills giving money to the states won't work in the South. Southern states don't care about those in need.

Please write/call your U.S. senators and representatives. Let them know we need to keep the ACA. Our state cannot be trusted to help the people not getting health insurance from an employer. Then, maybe, someday we can work towards Medicare for all. Right now, though, we need to keep what we have.

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We finally have a list of some of the places where the Trump administration will move to roll back protections under its “review” of wildlands and cultural sites protected by the Antiquities Act.

According to news reports, Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended significantly altering Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, Katahdin Woods & Waters in Maine, Cascade-Siskiyou in Oregon, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Rio Grande del Norte in New Mexico, Gold Butte in Nevada and marine monuments in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

The list is out: Trump administration wants to gut protections for public lands across the country

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Wed
Sep 20 2017
06:34 am

NYT: While Premiums Soar Under Obamacare, Costs of Employer-Based Plans Are Stable

Surprise, surprise. For one thing, most people get their insurance through their employer, so group plans encompass larger risk pools. Allowing insurance companies to carve out individual markets into their own, smaller pools guarantees higher individual premiums.

Also, employees covered by the plans are healthy enough to work, so the medical costs are generally lower. But some companies, especially the "self-insured," will find ways to fire employees who develop conditions requiring expensive treatment. I've seen it happen.

Continued...

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Wed
Sep 20 2017
02:24 am

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel argued the Sen. Bill Cassidy's new health care bill fails the "Kimmel Test" -- a reference to the comedian's emotional late-night monologue about how the Affordable Care Act carried protections that helped save his son from a congenital heart defect.

Kimmel: The senator lied to my face

Stop using my name

Jimmy Kimmel on Bill Cassidy’s Health “Care” Bill

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Tue
Sep 19 2017
03:28 pm

CWG says in a comment below that the KNS has laid off Don Jacobs and Wayne Bledsoe. This just after reports of a 41% subscription price increase.

UPDATE: Gannett Cuts One Percent of Workforce, Lays Off Tennessee Journalists

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Tue
Sep 19 2017
01:22 pm

What: Books Sandwiched In With Dr. Oleg Manaev
When: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 12:00pm
Where: East Tennessee History Center- Auditorium

Join Professor Oleg Manaev for a discussion of The Man without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladmir Putin by Masha Gessen on Wednesday, September 27 at noon in the East Tennessee History Center auditorium.

"I’m really impressed by how Gessen's book flows on multiple tracks, tracing Putin’s life back to boyhood, the story of his hometown of St. Petersburg, his KGB experience, and finally the last quarter-century of Russian history," Manaev said. "Even though many interpretations remain controversial, this book helps to understand modern Russia."

Manaev, Global Security Fellow at the University of Tennessee Institute for Nuclear Security, has an insider's perspective of Eastern European politics. When in 2010 the leadership of the Belarusian State University—on order from the KGB—pressured Manaev to resign, 130 well-known scholars from 30 countries sent a letter of protest to the Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, preserving his position. Manaev was arrested the following year by the Minsk Riot Police and called “a pawn of the West” by President Lukashenko. Finally, Manaev's contract with the University was cancelled, ending his 40 year tenure. Manaev has held visiting professorships at universities in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Europe and Japan. He has authored 200 scholarly articles and 20 books on media, political process, and democracy.

Find more information at the Books Sandwiched In page.
manwithoutaface_0.jpgoleg-manaev_cropped_0.jpg

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Mon
Sep 18 2017
07:15 pm

Garrett Arms has a nice piece on Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Calling Bitcoin "Monopoly money" is an insult to Monopoly.

Bitcoin and other funny money

21
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Mon
Sep 18 2017
10:55 am

Price of old-fashioned 7 day hard copy subscription to KNS jumping from $29.72/month to $42/month??!! Spouse likes to read it and cat likes to sit on it.

Topics:
20
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Mon
Sep 18 2017
07:52 am

NYT: Rolling Stone, Once a Counterculture Bible, Will Be Put Up for Sale

"And so, after a half-century reign that propelled him into the realm of the rock stars and celebrities who graced his covers, Mr. Wenner is putting his company’s controlling stake in Rolling Stone up for sale, relinquishing his hold on a publication he has led since its founding."

Accorging to the article, Wenner started the magazine from his San Francisco loft in 1967 using $7500 in borrowed money.

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Mon
Sep 18 2017
01:42 am

Tom Humphrey ...

Sen. Lamar Alexander’s efforts to craft a bipartisan bill to shore up Obamacare are drawing “hostile fire” from a fellow Republican Senate committee chairman, reports Politico.

Alexander is “stealing our jurisdiction,” Senate Finance Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch told POLITICO, referring to the turf split between his panel and Alexander’s HELP Committee. “It’s pretty hard to get excited about what he’s doing.”

Continued...

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It seems that Knoxville/Knox County are keeping track.

Knox County
24 - Number of Grants
$7,920,720 - Total
3,242 - Jobs Committed

More than $2.5 billion in subsidies such as grants, tax breaks and tax credits are given to businesses in the state each year, according to an analysis by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

An investigation by the largest four media organizations in Tennessee — The Tennessean, The Commercial Appeal, Knoxville News Sentinel and (Chattanooga) Times Free Press — found statewide that many officials and agencies do not track or disclose the number of jobs created by subsidy deals.

THE COST OF JOBS WHAT DO TAXPAYERS GET FOR TENNESSEE’S BUSINESS SUBSIDIES?

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Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

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