Alexander Says Unhappy New Year For Tennesseans Whose Health Insurance Will Change Because Of Obamacare

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander Tuesday said that since nearly 13 times as many Tennesseans receive health insurance through their employers as purchase their own individual plans, new Obamacare mandates on businesses mean that now Tennesseans receiving health insurance through employers will have to worry about Obamacare cancellations bringing an “Unhappy New Year.”    

“During 2014, many of the burdensome Obamacare mandates on businesses that the Obama administration delayed will be in full force,” Senator Alexander said. “We’ve already seen how the president’s broken promise that ‘If you like your health insurance, you can keep it’ was an unwelcome Christmas present for 82,000 Tennesseans buying insurance on their own. Now, since nearly 13 times as many Tennesseans receive health insurance on the job, Obamacare threatens to bring an Unhappy New Year for tens of thousands more Tennesseans."  

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, there are more than 246,000 Tennesseans on the individual insurance market, and Senator Alexander said at least 82,000 Tennesseans are scheduled to begin losing their current insurance because their plans were “outlawed” under Obamacare. About 3,175,000 Tennesseans get their insurance through their employers, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, or nearly 13 times as many as in the individual insurance market. Senator Alexander said the “burdensome mandates on employers” could mean “tens of thousands more” Tennesseans will lose their current plans or see their costs increase, just as in the individual health insurance market.

In 2014, employers will begin to make employee insurance and work-hour changes to prepare for the employer mandate to be enforced by the Obama administration, which requires employers with 50 employees or more to provide health insurance or pay a penalty.  Senator Alexander said the employer mandate will limit the options employers have to provide affordable insurance for all employees – leading to some existing plans no longer being legal, and insurance being more expensive, just as Americans saw in the individual health insurance market this year.

The senator also noted that many employers are already starting to reduce employee work hours and limit new hires and reconsider business expansions in order to lessen their burdens under Obamacare. The Obama administration in July of 2013 delayed enforcement until Jan. 1, 2015, instead of Jan. 1, 2014.  Senator Alexander continued, “Enforcement of burdensome mandates on businesses will mean fewer choices as health insurance plans offered by employers are outlawed under Obamacare, as well as higher costs for both Tennesseans and businesses that are trying to create jobs.”

The Obama administration is expected to release rules related to the employer mandate soon. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be releasing its final rule on the employer mandate, and the Internal Revenue Service will begin to reveal how much paperwork and personal information it will require businesses and employees to provide.

Corker’s Bipartisan Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act Becomes Law

Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after the president signed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 into law. The bill, which passed the Senate 98 to 1 and the House of Representatives 400 to 25, requires congressional review of any final nuclear agreement with Iran before the president can waive sanctions ... (click for more)

Varnell Man, Cohutta Woman Were Among Victims When Truck Went Out Of Control On Freeway Near Savannah

Jerry Earnest, 71, of Varnell, Ga., and 72-year-old Glenda Adams of Cohutta, Ga., were among the victims when a tractor-trailer went out of control on a busy freeway near Savannah, Ga., on Tuesday. The semi hit two cars before bursting into flames on I-16. Three other people were killed. Authorities said the driver may have fallen asleep. Seven vehicles were damaged in ... (click for more)

Don't Make A Mockery Of Memorial Day - And Response

We're told Memorial Day is the day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order that we, as Americans and others around the world, might live free, unshackled (invisible or otherwise) and without oppression. But how is that so when so many in America continue to be denied those freedoms? Others whose family and friends made the ultimate sacrifice? Their surviving families ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chincoteague Mourns ‘Dude’

In the span of a person’s life, there are some things that simply can’t be explained to be totally understood. And of all the spectacles I have ever personally witnessed, one of the best is that day in late July when they “pen the ponies” at Chincoteague Island, Va. I’m serious. Over 50,000 people watch every year as volunteer “Saltwater Cowboys” swim the wild ponies to the mainland ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats GPS 6-4 For D-II Softball Title

MURFREESBORO – Oh, what a difference a year makes. The GPS Bruisers came through the losers bracket a year ago and beat Baylor twice after losing the first five times they played, but those two were the biggest as it gave the team in blue a state D-II softball championship. The situation was similar a year later, but the results a bit different as the Lady Red Raiders beat ... (click for more)

Baylor To Face GPS Again For D-II State Softball Title

MURFREESBORO – It will be another Baylor-GPS battle for the championship in Division II softball as Baylor advanced with a 10-3 win over St. Benedict while GPS later beat the Lady Eagles by a 2-0 final for the right to face the Lady Red Raiders again. This year’s D-II tournament was similar to last year as Baylor beat GPS on the first day before the Bruisers came back and beat ... (click for more)