Saturday, February 28, 2009
TennCare advocacy community celebrates choice of KS governor to be HHS director; it sinks Bredesen's chances to revive his political career
Today's choice of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as nominee for secretary of health and human services should be labeled as the saving of a nation and its most vulnerable citizens.
Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, whose TennCare cuts in 2005 cost people their lives, was in the running to be President Obama's choice. And that caused horror amid the advocacy community here, including myself.
Led by Tony Garr, the community informed a nation and the administration about the bad man they were considering. And Bredesen's name, which had shown up on Time magazine's website, soon fell out of consideration.
An angry Bredesen -- while refusing to confirm he was under consideration -- lashed out against the advocacy community before TV cameras earlier this month. He denied the human carnage he caused. But enough people knew the truth, here and in Washington.
Now Bredesen has to complete the last two years of his term in Tennessee and make budget cuts he hates. He doesn't hate the cuts for the human suffering caused, but because he will lose the political Teflon he has possessed for much of his malignant political career.
And now that career is over in an increasingly Red state.
So hats off Tony and other advocates for saving the nation from a man who would rather harm than help. Now we'll have to deal with his anger.