Alexander Praises Proposed Ruled On Associated Health Plans

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Senate health and labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) on Tuesday said that Labor Secretary Acosta’s proposed rule on Association Health Plans “could lower the cost of health insurance premiums and finally make affordable health insurance available to the 11 million American small business men and women and their employees or those who work for themselves—like farmers, or songwriters—who today are priced out of our health insurance system.”

Chairman Alexander made his comments at today’s Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security roundtable on Small Business Health Plans chaired by Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.). The Department of Labor’s proposed rule would allow more self-employed Americans and small businesses to band together to provide a small business health plan, otherwise known as an Association Health Plan (AHP)—which helps those employers reduce health insurance costs.

He said, “Last month, I went to the Chick-fil-A on Charlotte in Nashville. As I was about to leave, a lady walked up to me and said, ‘My name is Marty. I'm a self-employed farmer. And the year before Obamacare started, my monthly insurance premium was $300. Next year, it is $1,300, and it's very hard for me to afford.’ This proposed rule opens up new options for farmers in Tennessee like Marty to purchase more affordable health insurance with the same types of coverage and benefits that folks with coverage from large employers have.

“Here’s how: The Administration’s proposal would take down barriers to allow more self-employed Americans and small businesses to band together in what is called an Association Health Plan, or an AHP. By banding together in an AHP, employers could reduce the cost of providing health insurance to their employees through spreading the administrative costs, bargaining for better deals from insurers, and creating a way to bring in more healthy people, which brings down costs for everyone.”

“This proposed rule would mean access to lower-cost health insurance opportunities for small businesses. For example—the proposed rule would allow small local restaurants or retailers in a rural area to all participate in a single Association Health Plan to be able to offer insurance to their employees.

“For the first time, self-employed Americans would have the ability to band together and obtain health insurance on similar terms to large businesses. That presents a new opportunity for hardworking farmers, gig economy workers like Uber and Lyft drivers, songwriters, and artisans who today are priced out of our health insurance system.

“The proposed rule would also allow the formation of a new nationwide plan for all workers in an industry—for example, all of the local bakery owners from Nashville to Phoenix could band together and offer health insurance coverage to their bakery employees.

“I commend Secretary Acosta and the Trump Administration for taking this action. The answer to increasing access to affordable health insurance does not lie in increased federal spending, but in giving consumers more power to purchase the insurance that fits their unique health needs.”

Senator Alexander’s full prepared opening remarks are here.



Chattanooga Heart Ball Nets $404,000 For American Heart Association

The American Heart Association’s 31st Annual Heart Ball, chaired by John and Lynn Anderson, netted over $404,000.  Proceeds from this event will help The American Heart Association reach their 2020 Impact Goal to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent and reduce deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent by the year 2020. Over ... (click for more)

Breathe Easy Mobile Lung CT Coach To Visit Walker County

CHI Memorial’s mobile lung CT coach will provide computerized tomography screenings at the Walker County Health Department, 603 E Villanow St. in Lafayette on Wednesday, June 6, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.   "Lung cancer screening is a test to look for signs of lung cancer in otherwise healthy people. The low-dose CT scan shows a 3-D image of your lungs that is clearer and ... (click for more)

Pedestrian Struck And Killed On Hixson Pike Saturday Night

A pedestrian was struck and killed on Saturday night on Hixson Pike. Chattanooga Police Department responded at 10:05 p.m. to a pedestrian struck at 5400 Hixson Pike.   A Ford F150 driven by Francis Lamonica, 66, was traveling north in the fast lane. The pedestrian was attempting to cross the roadway and was struck by the vehicle.   Mr. Lamonica was ... (click for more)

Aaron Biddle, 21, Shot And Killed On Basswood Drive Saturday Afternoon; Jadarius Knox, 23, Arrested For Criminal Homicide

Aaron Biddle, 21, was shot and killed on Saturday afternoon. Jadarius Knox, 23, has been arrested, and charged with criminal homicide. The Chattanooga Police Department responded around 3:45 p.m. to the 7800 block of Basswood Drive on reports of a person who had been shot.  Upon arrival, police were able to locate the victim who had succumbed to his injuries. Knox ... (click for more)

Erlanger Is Earning Its Money

First of all, I don’t know what I’m talking about. However, I do have an opinion on the facility based on my past and recent visits thereto. Secondly, if you find yourself at Erlanger for anything other than welcoming a brand new baby or something else that’s happily miraculous, you’ve either done something stupid (me); somebody else did and you’re paying the price, or, God gave ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Memorial Day, 2018

Sometime next Monday , the GrowJoy Nursery in Indiana is going to send me a dozen yellow flowers and I am going to do something with them that will be a lot of fun for me. Each of the Gold Star Perennial Mums comes in a 2.5-inch pot and costs $8.58 apiece and that includes free shipping. What’s more, for every plant GrowJoy sells, they will give $5, again from each plant, to ... (click for more)