Alexander Says Congress Needs To Take Small, Balanced Steps To Help 18 Million Americans Afford Health Insurance Next Year

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander on Wednesday launched a series of hearings on helping 18 million Americans be able to access and afford health insurance in 2018. 

Senator Alexander said at Wednesday’s hearing, “This step is not so small to 18 million Americans—songwriters, the self-employed, farmers—those who do not get their health insurance from the government or on the job.

These 18 million buy their health insurance in the individual market, and about half of them have zero government support to help buy that insurance. About half of these are lower income Americans that have government subsidies to help pay for their insurance and the other half are those who get no government support to help pay for insurance. These Americans are the ones hurt the most by the skyrocketing premiums, co-pays and deductibles. 

“If Congress acts quickly we can limit increases in premiums in 2018; continue support for co-pays and deductibles for many low-income families; make certain that health insurance is available in every market; and lay the groundwork for future premium decreases.

“To get a result, Democrats will have to agree to something – more flexibility for states – that some are reluctant to support. And Republicans will have to agree to something – additional funding through the Affordable Care Act – that some are reluctant to support. Health insurance has been a very partisan topic for a very long time, but the bottom line today is that 18 million Americans need our help, and I hope we can stay focused on getting a result.”

Tennessee state insurance commissioner Julie Mix McPeak – who testified Wednesday at a Senate health committee hearing Senator Alexander chaired  –  said in August of last year that the Tennessee Obamacare exchange was “very near collapse.”

In addition to Wenesday's hearing with state insurance commissioners, the committee will meet on Thursday to hear from governors, Tuesday, to hear from health policy experts on state flexibility, and Sept. 14 to hear from a state insurance commissioner, doctors, and patient advocates. 

Alexander’s full remarks are available here.



Morning Pointe Presents Chronic Health Conditions And Joint Care Q&A on July 24

Morning Pointe will present a Caregiver Café Educational Q&A - Chronic Health Conditions & Joint Care in partnership with Parkridge Health System, on  July 24, from 6-7:30 p.m.   Officials said, "Join us as expert physicians answer your questions and offer advice to help keep you and your loved ones healthy." The title of the event is ... (click for more)

HIMSS Analytics Honors Erlanger Health System With Stage 6 Recognition

  HIMSS Analytics announced Erlanger Health System has achieved Stage 6 on the EMR Adoption Model SM (EMRAM).    HIMSS Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics LOGIC. Tracking their progress in completing eight stages ... (click for more)

Former Dalton High School Teacher Pleads Guilty, Sentenced To 2 Years

Jesse Randall Davidson, 53, formerly of 5219 Hwy 11, Rising Fawn, and formerly a teacher at Dalton High School, entered a guilty plea to criminal damage to property in the first degree, carrying a weapon within a school safety zone and disrupting the operation of a public school.  He was sentenced to serve two years in prison followed by eight years on probation on the first ... (click for more)

Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Fire On Workman Road Tuesday Morning

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched at 6:03 a.m. on Tuesday, to a commercial fire at 400 Workman Road. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, flames were shooting through the roof and the request was immediately made for a second alarm response. The flames could be seen for miles as a total of 13 fire companies rushed to the scene. The large, two-story ... (click for more)

Here We Go Again With The Same Cummings Highway, 12th Street Flooding - And Response (2)

Here we go again with the same pitiful news reports about the Cummings Highway Interstate interchange with I-24 - Flooding yet again after a heavy rain.  TDOT is derelict in not having repaired this years ago.  How hard is it to get some excavators out there to dig up the collapsed drainage pipes which TDOT says are the cause of the flooding and replace them with ... (click for more)

Deal With The Graffiti Vandals

I travel to other neat old cities and don't see nearly the graffiti vandalism as in Chattanooga. Why do we allow one or two or three repeat vandals to mar our venerable Walnut Street Bridge, the pillars to the Holmberg Bridge, the remodeled Chief John Ross Market Street Bridge, the walls along our multi-million-dollar Riverwalk, our sidewalks, street signs and our old limestone ... (click for more)