Threats to healthcare
When Tennesseans have access to health care coverage, they do better.
That's a fact that's been proven over and over again. However, in the next few years, there will be attacks on these bi-partisan bedrocks of health coverage through attempts to pass block grants that will drastically cut our health care funding, as well as take away the protections that Tennesseans currently have.
These changes will create upheaval in our health care system unlike any that we’ve seen in decades, and will affect TennCare, Medicare, the Marketplace, and every single person who has private insurance.
In the days to come, we must make sure that the millions individuals and families in Tennessee who benefit from programs that are at risk do not lose their coverage. We will stand with our clients for affordable, quality health care, and we invite you to join us by taking action.
STATE HEALTHCARE UPDATE
The TN legislature has thus far refused to close the coverage gap and adjourned for the year in early May. The legislative inaction left 280,000 Tennesseans without federally funded healthcare.
By refusing to close the coverage gap, state lawmakers have sent $1 billion per year of Tennesseans' federal tax dollars to other states that was earmarked by Congress to provide coverage for Tennesseans. The legislature's actions have increased premiums for private insurance and destabilized the insurance Marketplace. As a result, insurance providers pull out of the Marketplace (such as Humana in East Tennessee), and leave Tennesseans who receive insurance through the Marketplace questioning if their health coverage is at risk.
Closing the coverage would have provided hard-working Tennesseans with health insurance, funded hospitals and clinics that all Tennesseans rely no, and created jobs. Unfortunately, the legislature’s ongoing failure to allow its constituents to access the care they need is sabotaging the health care system for all Tennesseans.
FEDERAL HEALTHCARE UPDATE
On the heels of a tumultuous summer, on July 27th, 2017, the Senate failed to pass the Health Care Freedome Act (so called "skinny bill"), which would have repealed the ACA.
By a vote of 49-51, the Health Care Freedom Act failed to pass in the Senate. Senators Susan Collins, John McCain, and Lisa Murkowski were the only Republicans who voted against the bill alongside all Democrat Senators.
On August 2nd, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement that said in September the Senate health committee will hold bipartisan hearings related to stabilizing the individual market. In the House of Representatives, a 40-person group, comprised of both parties, has endorsed an outline of ideas aimed at making urgent fixes to the ACA.