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New Tennessee coalition speaks out to protect health care

Staff Reports • Updated Feb 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM

NASHVILLE – About 526,000 Tennesseans’ lives are at risk if the Affordable Care Act is repealed without a viable, affordable replacement.

The Great State Project coalition recently urged Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker to stand up and protect the health of those insured under the Affordable Care Act, to do no harm and to preserve the consumer protections enacted under the ACA – fundamental preventive services, lack of payment caps by insurance companies, subsidies for low- and middle-income individuals and families, guaranteed coverage despite pre-existing conditions and the individual mandate.

The coalition is concerned that, under the new administration, the state could lose $27 billion in federal funding for Medicaid, CHIP and financial assistance for marketplace coverage. 

The uninsured rate among working Tennesseans saw a 24 percent decline because of the ACA. Nineteen percent of the state’s population relies on Medicaid, and coalition officials said they are unsure what is happening with this vital program. Included in the group of at-risk Tennesseans are seniors who may lose preventive care and see an increase in their prescription drug coverage, children, pregnant women and those with mental health and substance abuse disorders. 

Alexander has said, “The American people deserve health care reform that’s done in the right way, for the right reasons, in the right amount of time. It’s not about developing a quick fix. It’s about working toward long-term solutions that work for everyone.”

The coalition urged the senators to be the voices of care for the citizens of Tennessee, not the ones who take it away.

The Great State Project is a coalition of organizations and faith-based communities across Tennessee that has committed to working together to ensure that all Tennesseans have access to comprehensive, quality health care and preventative services that are affordable, accountable and sustainable.

The coalition’s steering committee consists of Nashville CARES, Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church, Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee, National Alliance on Mental Illness in Tennessee, Tennessee Charitable Care Network, Tennessee Conference on Social Welfare, Tennessee Health Care Campaign and Tennessee Justice Center.

For more information, email info@greatstateproject.org.

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