Care Bearers

  • Aired:  06/05/13
  •  | Views: 164,377

Jessica Williams travels to America's "health belt" to investigate Tennessee's rejection of expanded Medicaid coverage. (5:59)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

THE PAST FIVE YEARS CONGRESS HAS

MAINTAINED A NEAR FLAWLESS

RECORD OF USELESSNESS.

BUT EVEN WITH THEIR TOP

OBSTRUCTIONISTS, THINGS WERE

BOUND TO FALL THROUGH THE

CRACKS.

A BRIDGE GETS FIXED UP.

EXPANDED HEALTH CARE COVERAGE

GETS PASSED.

BUT SINCE THAT SLIP-UP, THE

HOUSE HAS VOTED TO APPEAL OR

DEFUND OBAMA CARE 37 TIMES NOT

BECAUSE THEY'RE STUBBORN.

THEY HAVE NO SHORT-TERM

MEMORIES.

IT'S COVERED.

WHILE CONGRESS INHABITS A

FANTASY WORLD WHERE YOU CAN TURN

BACK HISTORY BY WISHING HARD

ENOUGH, GOVERNORS LIVE IN ACTUAL

STATES WITH ACTUAL POOR PEOPLE

WHO NEED ACTUAL MEDICAL

ATTENTION.

BEFORE THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

WE HAD TWO PROGRAMS.

ONE WAS MEDICAID.

THE OTHER WAS THE EMERGENCY

ROOM.

THE FIRST ONE MODESTLY PRICED,

PAID FOR BY THE OTHER.

THE OTHER WE PRE-END TEND NOT TO

PAY FOR AND IS THE REASON WHY

ONE ADVIL IS $12,000.

MOST OF THE TAB WILL BE PICKED

UP TO EXPAND MEDICARE COVERAGE

IN THE STATE TO COVER MORE

PEOPLE.

ALL THE GOVERNORS DO IS HAVE TO

SAY THE MAGIC WORD YES.

THUMBS-UP WILL DO.

SEEMS LIKE A TOTAL NO-BRAINER

FOR THE GOVERNORS.

>> ALREADY 15 STATES WITH

REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS WHO SAID

THEY WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE

MEDICAID EXPANSION.

>> Jon: THE NO-BRAIN STATES.

STATES LIKE TEXAS,

MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA, SOUTH

CAROLINA.

>> Jon: KNOWN COLLECTIVELY AS

AMERICA'S HEALTH BELT.

REJECTING EXPANDED MEDICAID

MEANS THAT STATES ARE GOING TO

HAVE TO COME UP WITH THEIR OWN

PLAN.

UTAH IS CONSIDERING CHARITY AS A

REPLACEMENT FOR MEDICAID

EXPANSION.

TEXAS JUST WANTS A BAG OF MONEY

WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED.

AND OF COURSE IOWA IS GOING WITH

OPTIMISM.

>> WE'VE GOT A BETTER IDEA IN

IOWA.

WE'RE WORKING TO GET PEOPLE TO

TAKE OWNERSHIP OF THEIR OWN

HEALTH.

WE'RE FOCUSING ON EXERCISE.

>> Jon: RIGHT AFTER WE EAT THE

WORLD'S LARGEST FRIED COW-LAMB

ON A STICK.

BUT TENNESSEE MAY HAVE FOUND THE

BEST MEDICAID SOLUTION OF ALL.

JESSICA WILLIAMS HAS MORE.

>> STATES ARE SCRAMBLING TO COME

UP WITH ALTERNATIVES TO THE

OBAMA CARE MEDICAID EXPANSION.

TENNESSEE HAS A TRULY INNOVATIVE

WAY TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF

THEIR NEEDIEST.

>> IF YOU'RE ELDERLY AND VERY

SICK, TENNESSEE WANTS TO HELP

YOU WITH THEIR MEDICAL BILLS.

>> THE NEW PROGRAM CALLED

STANDARD SPEND DOWN.

IT HELPS PEOPLE WHO ARE POOR OR

EVEN THOSE WHO MAKE TOO MUCH

MONEY FOR MEDICAID.

>> HERE'S HOW IT WORKS.

YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO CALL

A HOT LINE AND IT WILL CLOSE SUN

THEY'VE TAKEN INFORMATION FROM

2500 PEOPLE.

BUT BE WARNED.

IT IS IS THE SAME NUMBER

THOUSANDS OF OTHER PEOPLE WILL

BE CALLING AT THE SAME TIME.

>> Reporter: YEP.

IT'S THE HEALTH CARE LOTTERY.

GIVE IT UP FOR THE TENNESSEE

DANDER SPENDDOWN.

RATHER THAN ACCEPT FEDERAL MONEY

TO COVER 330,000 UNINSURED THEY

AWARD HEALTH CARE TO ONLY THE

FIRST 2500 CALLERS.

IT'S LIKE CALLING THE MORNING

FOR TICKETS EXCEPT IF YOU DON'T

WIN YOUR DIABETES GOES

UNTREATED.

ENTHUSIAST GINA LUTHER LOVES IT.

>> WHAT IDIOT COME UP WITH THAT

IDEA?

IT'S PLAYING WITH PEOPLE'S

LIVES.

LIKE YOU WERE PLAYING A SLOT

MACHINE.

>> YOU DON'T LIKE SLOT MACHINES?

I LOVE SLOT MACHINES.

BUT I DON'T LIKE RUSSIAN

ROULETTE.

>> SOUNDS LIKE SOMEBODY WASN'T

DIALING FAST ENOUGH.

>> NO, I JUST WASN'T ABLE TO

CALL.

I WAS ACTUALLY IN THE HOSPITAL

HAVING SURGERY.

>> YOU LOSE, GINA.

I KNOW THAT AND I DON'T KNOW

WHY IN THIS WORLD THAT THAT

ANESTHESIOLOGIST DIDN'T WAKE ME

UP.

>> CLEARLY SHE IS JUST A POOR

LOSER.

STRATEGIST EXPLAINS WHY THE

STATE IS DOING THE RIGHT THING.

>> I'VE BEEN TALKING TO SOME

FOLKS IN TENNESSEE.

THEY WOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR

MEDICAID EXPANSION BUT THEY'RE

NOT BIG FANS OF TENNESSEE

REJECTING IT.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM?

>> I THINK THEY NEED TO

UNDERSTAND THAT TENNESSEE CAN'T

BE EVERYTHING TO EVERYBODY.

THEY HAVE TO MAKE THE BUDGET

BALANCE.

THAT'S JUST THE WAY IT.

IS.

>> THE STATE BUDGET MUST BE

SAVED FROM THE MEDICAID

EXPANSION THAT DOESN'T AFFECT

THE STATE BUDGET.

I BET ONE OF THE LUCKY 250

WINNERS WILL BE MORE

APPRECIATIVE.

>> CONGRATULATIONS, YEAH!

YOU JUST WON THE TENNESSEE

HEALTH CARE LOTTERY.

YOU PERSEVERED CALL A MILLION

TIMES.

NOW YOU FINALLY GOT HEALTH

INSURANCE.

>> NOT.

?

WELL, THEY SEND YOU AN

APPLICATION FIRST.

YOU FILL OUT THE APPLICATION AND

THEN HE SEND IT BACK IN.

THEN YOU WAIT.

THEN IT TAKES 90 DAYS TO SIX

MONTHS BEFORE YOU KNOW ANYTHING.

>> IF YOU SAY IT LIKE THAT, IT

DOESN'T SOUND SO GREAT.

BUT WHAT ABOUT LIKE THIS?

>> WELL, THEY SEND YOU THE

APPLICATION FIRST.

YOU FILL THE APPLICATION OUT.

THEN YOU SEND IT BACK IN.

THEN YOU WAIT.

>> OKAY.

SO HEALTH CARE LOTTERY WINNERS

DON'T ACTUALLY WIN HEALTH CARE.

BUT THEY DO WIN A MOUNTAIN OF

PAPERWORK AND SIX MONTHS OF

SUSPENSE.

>> ANY FOREIGN BANK ACCESS?

DON'T.

IF YOU THINK THAT IS [BLEEP]

UP, DON'T WORRY THERE'S MORE.

>> 3500 WINNERS BUT THE HEALTH

CARE LOTTERY RESERVES THE RIGHT

TO SAY THE CONTEST IS OVER

BEFORE ANY CALLS ARE RECEIVED.

YES, THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

>> Reporter: THERE YOU HAVE IT,

A SOLID ALTERNATIVE TO OBAMA

CARE BECAUSE TENNESSEE

CONSERVATIVES KNOW YOU CAN'T DO

EVERYTHING FOR EVERYBODY AND

SOMETIMES THAT MEANS DOING

NOTHING FOR THE PEOPLE WHO NEED

IT THE MOST.

SO KEEP DIALING, TENNESSEE.

>> Jon: JESS

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