Senate Republicans Urge Trump Administration To Expand Access To Lower Cost Employer Insurance To Potentially Millions More Americans

Friday, June 15, 2018
Senate health and labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander today led a group of 30 Senate Republicans urging the Trump Administration to expand access to lower cost employer insurance to potentially millions more Americans.
In the letter sent today to the Department of Labor urging DOL to issue a final rule to expand Association Health Plans to allow more small employers and sole proprietors to band together to provide health coverage at lower prices the senators wrote:
“A final regulation expanding access to AHPs could help three groups of Americans.
First, it could help the 11 million Americans and their family members who are uninsured today because they work for a small employer or sole proprietorship that does not offer health insurance. Second, it could provide a new insurance option for the nine million Americans who purchase coverage in the individual market today without a subsidy under Obamacare and cannot afford the unsustainable rate increases that we have seen on the exchanges since the law took effect in 2014. Third, it could provide flexibility for a new insurance option for Americans who today have an offer of coverage through a small employer that does not meet their families’ needs. 
“AHPs can help these Americans by providing a lower cost alternative with the same sort of consumer protections and tax breaks that apply to employees who receive health care insurance from large employers. Employer-provided coverage is approximately $5000 cheaper per policy for a family of four because of federal tax breaks. Furthermore, when sole proprietors and small businesses join together to purchase as a larger group, employers may reduce their administrative costs, bargain for better deals from insurance companies, and create stable risk pools with more people. These advantages bring down costs for everyone in the AHP. 
“These plans also include the important patient protections that apply to the roughly 160 million Americans who receive coverage from large employers. An AHP cannot charge a patient a higher premium because they have a pre-existing health condition, deny coverage of a pre-existing health condition, cancel an employee’s plan because the employee gets sick or impose annual or lifetime limits on benefit coverage. An AHP must offer coverage to dependent children up to age 26, if dependent coverage is offered, and must cover preventive health services free of charge to the patient.”
The letter was signed by: Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Michael B. Enzi (R-Wyo.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Thune (R-S.D.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Todd Young (R-Ind.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C).

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ARIAS, DAVID SALAZAR  3803 10TH AVE APT B CHATTANOOGA, 37402  Age at Arrest: 36 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- ASHLEY, CHARLES LARRY  2626 MOWBRAY PIKE SODDY DAISY, 37379  Age at Arrest: 36 years old Arresting Agency: ... (click for more)

Teacher Charged With Growing Marijuana Pleads To Reduced Charge

A Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School teacher who was charged with growing marijuana with intent to distribute it has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of possession of marijuana. Other counts were dismissed. Officers of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Drug Task Force in early July searched the home of Lori Beth Moore after getting a tip that she was growing marijuana. The ... (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous - And Response (4)

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dumb Ain’t A Crime

As half of America wonders how a Texas school superintendent still has a job, the other half of the country now understands that being dumb is no crime. Minutes after the Houston Texans dropped a ugly 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, an upset educator – obviously with a full head of steam -- pounded this sentence out on his Facebook page: “That may have been the most ... (click for more)

Central Ends Good Week With Win Over East Ridge

Central volleyball coach Holly Ware saw on the Lady Pounders home court Tuesday  night what the second-year coach had seen in her mind for most of this volleyball season.   “Our numbers are not impressive, but they also don’t show what I know this team is capable of being. It has been an emotional roller coaster this year from one game to another, one match ... (click for more)

Inspired Chattanooga Christian Sweeps Notre Dame

Chattanooga Christian and Notre Dame have built a really good rivalry in recent years, especially in volleyball. Notre Dame had the dominant team for many years before the two teams split regular-season matches a year ago. Chattanooga Christian has the upper hand in 2018 and clinched first place in the district on Wednesday night at Notre Dame’s Jack Steiner Gymnasium with ... (click for more)