The Affordable Care Act

The Supreme Court ruled on June 28, 2012 that the Affordable Care Act would become the law of the land. The Supreme Court agreed that the law could stand as written, enabling states, the federal government, and health insurance companies to begin implementing the law. This meant the creation of health insurance exchanges, new incentives for people to have health insurance, additional consumer protections, and greater insurance company accountability. The Supreme Court also ruled that states would now have the option to expand their Medicaid programs to cover people with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line. Tennessee faced an important decision.

On Wednesday, March 27, 2013 Governor Haslam announced that Tennessee would not be accepting federal funds to expand TennCare under the Affordable Care Act in 2013. The Governor instead proposed a “Tennessee Plan,” which would: 1) use federal dollars to purchase private health insurance for those who would have been eligible under a TennCare expansion, 2) include co-pays for those who can afford them, 3) work with providers to lower the cost of care and move to a payment method based on results, and, 4) include a sunset provision after three years so that funding could only be renewed with legislative approval. This plan will require approval from the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

We believe that the Affordable Care Act, and specifically the option to expand Medicaid coverage, presents the most significant equal justice opportunity since the Civil Rights Era. This is truly a historic moment for Tennessee. TJC will continue to work with community members, fellow advocates, elected officials, and health care industry leaders to provide information and make the Tennessee Plan a reality for the hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans who are currently living without access to health care. To learn more about why expanding coverage to those under the poverty level makes sense, watch this short video, and please take a look at our fact sheets below.

We encourage you to research the ACA more and explore our information on what health reform means specifically for Tennessee. You can read our fact sheets, blog entries, and other relevant articles about important pieces of the Affordable Care Act below.

Contact Your Legislators

Want to tell your legislators that you support Tennessee accepting federal funds to expand health care coverage to uninsured and working families? You can contact your legislators here!

Client Stories

We have been gathering stories of families across Tennessee, much like you and me, who lack the health care they need to thrive, and sometimes survive. These stories demonstrate the great need that exists in Tennessee and why Medicaid expansion has human consequences for the state.


If you’re interested to see how the ACA has affected millions of people across the nation, and what changes are to come, please read our blogs below.

Helpful Charts

Other Resources

If you want more information about the Affordable Care Act or Medicaid Expansion, please check out the websites below.

Also, click here to learn more about TennCare vs. The Affordable Care Act