From our friends at NHeLP:

Word is that the administration is considering TN governor Phil Bredesen for the Secretary of HHS, now that Tom Daschle has withdrawn his name.  It is hard to overstate what a terrible choice this would be for everyone, but especially for anyone who cares at all about Medicaid, which Gov. Bredesen has systematically gutted over the last six years.  Below is a description from the Tennessee Justice Center of the havoc Bredesen has wreaked on the poor of TN.  So, if you would like to see a Secretary of Health and Human Services who actually believes in, well, health and human services, you can contact the White House at 202-456-1111 (FAX: 202-456-2461, TTY/TDD 202-456-6213) and/or send them an email by using the form provided on the White House web site at  There is apparently no time to waste here, so get those fingers dialing if you are inclined to avoid what will otherwise prove to be the administration’s latest nomination disaster.

Steve Hitov
National Health Law Program
“Securing Health Rights for Those in Need”

Here is what the TN Justice Center has to say about Gov. Bredesen’s health record:

In many ways, Bredesen is the “anti-Daschle”: his values and health policies are the opposite of Daschle’s, and he has a track record in Tennessee of not playing well with others, especially legislators.  No other governor of either party can match the  metrics that reflect Governor Bredesen’s 6 year management of health policy in Tennessee :

*        He presided in 2005-2006 over the deepest cuts in a public health insurance program in the nation’s history. The cuts took $1.9 billion a year out of the state’s health care system. The 170,000 disenrolled was the largest single increase to that point in the number of uninsured and accounted for a third of the entire national growth in the number of uninsured.

*        Tennessee is one of two states (the other being Mississippi, where Gov. Haley Barbour also cut Medicaid) that in 2005 bucked the national trend in steadily declining infant mortality. Tennessee’s infant mortality rate rose in 2005 to 9.0 per thousand. Tennessee is 45th in infant morality among the states. Memphis, the state’s most populous city, has the worst infant mortality rate in the nation. Gov. Bredesen is now cutting the state perinatal network’s funding by 50%.

*        Tennessee ranks 50th in support for home and community-based services as alternatives to institutionalization. Two months ago, a federal court found that the Bredesen Administration’s cuts in home nursing services violated the ADA by forcing people into nursing homes.

Take Action!

Contact the White House
Call:  202-456-1111
FAX: 202-456-2461
TTY/TDD: 202-456-6213
Email by using the form provided on the White House web site at

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This entry was posted on Friday, February 6th, 2009 at 9:08 pm and is filed under Health Parity Alerts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.