Category Archives: waste not

Here’s an idea how NOT to support the troops…

Quite frankly, I’m sick to death of being told that Democrats are not patriotic or that you can’t both support the troops and be against this failed war effort. Setting that argument aside, let’s talk about supporting the troops.

Did you realize that the newly released Bush budget nearly doubles the prescription drug co-payment for approximately two million middle income veterans who suffer from non-service related disabilities (Priority 7 and 8 veterans), which would increase the cost of prescriptions for these veterans from $8 to $15 per month.
(The budget) imposes a new enrollment fee on Priority 7 and 8 veterans, on a graduated scale of $250-$750 per year, based on veterans’ family income level. While the Bush Administration claims the enrollment fee and co-payment increase would apply only to middle and upper-income veterans, the reality is that they would apply to Priority 7 and 8 veterans whose annual income is as low as $27,790. Further, for the first time, this year’s proposal would use family income – rather than individual income – as the basis for calculating these fees. As a result of the enrollment fee and co-payment increase, the VA estimates that nearly 110,000 veterans would be driven away from the VA system.

Did you know that the out-patient long-term care facility at Walter Reed Hospital known as Mologne House or its more spartan name, Building 18 is rife with rot, mildew, mice and cockroaches. Yeah, the Army is fixing the place now, but it took a series of articles from the Washington Post to get anyone’s attention.

Did you know that it now takes 190 days to determine if a soldier is fit for return to duty? Do you know what the soldiers go through while waiting for that determination?

Oh yeah, they support the troops…on the way TO Iraq and Afghanistan.

The human cost of this war is staggering. No cost should be too high to ensure that the vets get the care they need in a properly maintained facility in a timely fashion.



Filed under Iraq, politics, want not, waste not

Here’s one for all you folks who want to cut out waste in government

I don’t blog much about my job. Not because I don’t like the job. I love it. But, sometimes people get in trouble and accidentally say things that are misunderstood or they post things that rebound back to the job…well you know that drill. Despite the potential pitfalls, here I go…

I work for the state Department of Health here in Nashville. I work largely with the software that runs in the state health department clinics across the state. I am one of those administrative types…some would say bureaucrat, but I’d argue that point.

Anyway, my ‘customers’ are program managers who need data to make good decisions about their budgets. My customers are doctors, nurses, and clerks in clinics – front line providers. My customer is the system administrator in regional health offices who needs help with data extraction or who reports a problem in the software. I’ve got LOTS of customers.

My point is this: I’ve got plenty to do. My job is NEVER boring. I love those two facts. I work with a lot of other people with that exact same attitude. We want the people of Tennessee who come to ‘our’ clinics to get the best, most efficient, most informed service they can possibly receive*. That is OUR job.

Why am I going on about this?? Think about Stacy Campfield’s abortion death certificate bill. Or peruse another bill you probably haven’t heard about because it is so stupid:

Make everyone who wants service from Tenncare take a drug test.…oh, you have TB…oh, you need prenatal care..sorry, you can’t have smoked a JOINT.

Here’s something else you probably don’t know: For every bill that is introduced in the House or Senate, somebody somewhere in a department or departments has to do a fiscal note on that bill and assess what the impact of the bill will be on their department. Our budget and our staff are impacted directly by these bills.

When Campfield makes his political and ‘manly’ point, someone or someoneS in MY department have to spend a LOT of time outlining what the impact of the bill would be for our customers, for our budget and how it dovetails (or does not dovetail) with federal law (for what it’s worth there are enough HIPAA issues to choke a horse re the Campfield bill). We can’t just stamp: STUPID AS HELL on the assessment. We can’t write in bold print ‘You’ve GOT TO BE KIDDING’ on a bill that would require drug testing for people who need medical care**. We sometimes have to spend hours assessing the cost and human impact of a bill, not to mention attempting to collate the bill with existing law.

Yeah, assessment of any bill is necessary. Good management requires evaluation and an accurate fiscal note. The folks who have to spend their time on these assessments have plenty to do in addition to assessing the serious bills. .Asking these folks to evaluate ‘frivolity’ is a waste…

Put that in your fiscal pipe and smoke it…

*I’m aware that patients in health department clinics don’t always get the speediest service. Trust me, we spend a lot of time trying to make ‘your’ wait time decrease.

**Disclaimer..please read: THIS IS MY OPINION. I am speaking as a private blogger, not for the Department of Health.


Filed under politics, self-referential nonsense, want not, waste not