Healthcare

Affordable Healthcare

I support expanding Medicaid in Tennessee to include anyone making 138% of FPL.  I support Tennessee creating their own insurance marketplace.

When the Republicans in Tennessee’s legislature decided against Medicaid expansion with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they left 200,000 people uninsured (1).  ACA offered states the ability to expand Medicaid to everyone making less than 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) which would be roughly $16,000 for individuals and $32,000 for families (4).  The federal government offered to cover the cost of the Medicaid expansion at 100% for the first three years and 90% thereafter.  “The uninsured currently cost hospitals billions in unpaid hospital bills – some of these costs are indirectly passed onto the average taxpayer with insurance (4).”

Snapshot of Today: (Tennessee Health Care Campaign)

  • 300,000 hard-working Tennesseans in mainly low-income jobs are uninsured.
  • 8 mostly rural hospitals have closed since 2010 with more on the brink of closing if we don’t expand Medicaid.  We lead the nation in hospital closures.
  • Several studies have looked at overall health in states that expanded Medicaid compared to states that did not expand Medicaid.  In states that expanded coverage, health improvements have significantly improved.  In states that did not, health has not improved.  Studies have shown that those that have the least gain the most.
  • Tennessee has lost $4 billion in federal taxes that WE have paid into.  Our tax dollars have gone back to the federal government or gone to other states for their health care costs.
  • Since 2014, Tennessee has rejected $2.6 million per day because of our state legislature’s refusal to expand Medicaid.
  • 72% of Knox County residents want to expand Medicaid.

I pledge to you now that I will not be bullied by the “Red Shirts” AKA: Americans for Prosperity and I will vote to expand Medicaid when the good people of District 89 elect me to be their next representative.

Insurance Marketplaces

Mr. Counihan stated in 2016 that, “TN Healthcare.gov customers were able to purchase coverage for less than $75/month due to federal subsidies.  If Tennessee expanded Medicaid then premiums would be 7% lower.  Further, states that run their marketplaces have higher enrollment and more affordable premiums (1).”

To Qualify for TennCare Medicaid: children under 21, women who are pregnant, parents/caretakers of a minor child, women who need breast or cervical cancer treatment, people who get an SSI check, and person who lives in nursing home with income less than $2,205/month (5).

To Qualify for TennCare Standard: children under 19 who are not on a group plan through parents, or eligibility is up for TennCare Medicaid (5).

In Congressional District 2 (2):

Marketplace and Basic Health Plan Enrollees 2017: 25,200
Marketplace enrollees with advanced premium tax credits 2017: 20,900
Marketplace enrollees with cost sharing reduction assistance 2017: 14,500

As your House Representative, I will work to expand Medicaid to cover everyone making 138% of FPL because no one should be denied the right to affordable healthcare.  I will also work to create a Tennessee run marketplace to ensure more enrollees and help keep premiums down.  Currently the Trump administration has ended the federal government’s payments for CSR’s (Cost Sharing Reductions) for marketplace health plans.  The insurance companies are now responsible for CSR’s.  Some insurance companies are raising premiums to account for the loss of payment from the federal government.  I will work to reinstate CSR’s at the state level for marketplace enrollees to keep their premiums down.  The loss of CSR’s effects 14,500 in TN Congressional District 2.

Healthcare is a right, not a privilege.  I will work tirelessly in Tennessee’s legislature to make sure that every one of my constituents has access to affordable healthcare.

Women’s Healthcare

As your House Representative, I will work to ensure that women have the right to choose what they want to do with their bodies. The government should not be involved in that decision at all.  I will also work to ensure that women have access to affordable or free birth control, contraceptives, family planning resources, cancer screenings, and annual health checks.

Access to Exercise

According to US News and World Report, Tennessee ranked 4th in 2009 among the most obese in the nation where 30% of residents are obese and 37% of residents are overweight (6). In 2018 WalletHub ranked Knoxville as the 10th fattest city in the nation (3).  Clearly, we have a need to help folks lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle in District 89. As your House Representative, I will work to create recreation centers in Knox County that will provide affordable indoor recreation and exercise for county residents.  I will also work to expand sidewalk access along main roads, create bike lanes, and create/expand Greenways.  I will work to find traffic calming measures that can help residents feel safer while exercising on main roads.  Fast traffic speeds, limited lighting, lack of sidewalks, greenways, and bike lanes are deterrents to exercising in Knox County.  Let’s get healthy District 89!

REFERENCES

  1. Counihan, K. (2016, October 16). The truth about health insurance in Tennessee.  The Tennessean, Retrieved March 13, 2018, from https://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/contributors/2016/10/05/truth-health-insurance-tennessee/91572160/
  2. Kaiser Family Foundation (2017, October 4). Interactive Maps: Estimates of Enrollment in ACA Marketplaces and Medicaid Expansion. Retrieved March 13, 2018, from https://www.kff.org/interactive/interactive-maps-estimates-of-enrollment-in-aca-marketplaces-and-medicaid-expansion/

 

  1. McCann, A. (2018, March 14). 2018’s Fattest cities in America. Wallet Hub, Retrieved March 13, 2018, from https://wallethub.com/edu/fattest-cities-in-america/10532/

 

  1. com (n.d.). ObamaCare Medicaid Expansion. Retrieved March 13, 2018, from https://obamacarefacts.com/obamacares-medicaid-expansion/

 

  1. Gov. (n.d.). TennCare Medicaid. Retrieved March 13, 2018, from https://www.tn.gov/tenncare/members-applicants/eligibility/tenncare-medicaid.html

  

  1. S. News and World Report (2009, July 1). Top 10 fat states: Where obesity rates are highest. Retrieved March 13, 2018, from https://health.usnews.com/health-news/diet-fitness/photos/top-10-fat-states-where-obesity-rates-are-highest?slide=4