As you well know, the presidential election was a cloud hanging over the
future of the Affordable Care Act, sometimes better known as "Obamacare."
The election results settle key issues about the direction that healthcare
will take in our nation. With no more hurdles before it, states now have
the responsibility to implement the law swiftly and effectively.
So what happens now?
Exchanges are online marketplaces in which individuals and small
businesses will purchase private insurance and take advantage of subsidies
to help pay premiums. States should set up their own, but they can opt out
and allow the federal government to do it for them. Tennessee has not made
a decision.However, they must make a decision by November 16th. The
governor favors a state exchange, but he's facing some push-back from
colleagues in the General Assembly.
Medicaid (TennCare) Expansion
As you probably know, the Supreme Court ruled in June that states have the
option to expand their Medicaid program. Again, Tennessee has not made a
decision.This decision point could take a while because it needs to go
through our state legislature's budget process (even though the Feds pay
100% of the expansion for the first 3 years & it slowly goes down to a
permanent 90%). Many legislators have come out strongly against the
expansion, and in fact legislation has already been introduced to prevent
Is that it?
We wish. At the federal level, there's a manufactured "fiscal cliff" that
some economists say will send us into another recession. If Congress
doesn't act by the end of the year, across-the-board spending cuts & tax
hikes will take effect. Here's a really good, detailed explanation of what
it means and what kind of budget cuts & tax hikes are included.
What does that mean for our work?
Medicaid is incredibly vulnerable. Even the President has put Medicaid on
the table when compromising for budget cuts. We must protect this
important safety net for our most vulnerable neighbors.
Additionally, the Affordable Care Act could take some hits around the
Prevention & Public Health Fund as well as the tax credits that will allow
individuals to afford private insurance in 2014. We'll need to watch these
conversations carefully to ensure we're not sacrificing these important
What can I do?
SO GLAD YOU ASKED! Here are a few simple steps for you to take.
Call Gov. Haslam: 615-741-2001 or email him: firstname.lastname@example.org. Let him
know you support a state exchange AND the expansion of TennCare. Here are
some talking points.
Call your state legislators & give them a call or email. Tell them to
support Governor Haslam in his idea of a state-based exchange. Be sure to
mention that you don't like them leaving federal money on the floor to pay
for an expansion of TennCare. Scroll down on this page for some great fact
sheets on the benefits of TennCare expansion.
Share the word! Email, Facebook, & Twitter - use it all! Just use those
little buttons in the upper-right corner of this message.
Support our work! You depend on us and we depend on you. This work can't
happen without you. An investment in THCC means that your voice continues
to be heard throughout the process of meaningful health reform
implementation here in Tennessee.
This is your official election roundup! Keep reading to see what this
week's election results mean for health care in Tennessee.
Get caught up on your ACA education here.
Let's be friends! Stay in touch with THCC on Facebook & Twitter. We'll
keep it interesting...promise.
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Now that we can move forward with confidence, our work has never been more
important. We can't do it without you.
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volunteers. Contact us and let's become best friends!
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