Press Release from the House Democratic Caucus, March 8, 2011:
Initiatives to help seniors, chronically ill, children defeated by GOP Democratic amendments to improve Republican health care bill denied Monday
(Nashville) – Democrats attempted unsuccessfully Monday to oppose pre-existing condition requirements on insurance for children, to oppose monetary limits on lifetime coverage for the chronically ill, to support better prescription-drug coverage for seniors and to support insurance for college students until their 26th birthdays.
These initiatives were defeated by the Republican majority, who opposed the changes to the GOP-sponsored “Tennessee Healthcare Freedom Act.”
“This bill, which speaks to Tennessee’s policies regarding national healthcare, could have been a vehicle to lay out some sound principles for our children, seniors, college students and chronically ill,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner (D-Old Hickory). “Unfortunately, the sponsors of this bill ignored the needs and rights of these folks.
“It’s really a shame. Where is the ‘freedom’ in being subjected to unfair insurance practices that affect our most vulnerable?
Votes were taken on four amendments proposed by House Democrats that would have declared the pubic policy of Tennessee as the following:
narrowing the “donut hole” in Medicare prescription drug coverage for seniors extending the coverage of adult children up to the age of 26 eliminating lifetime limits on the dollar value of health insurance abolishing pre-existing-condition requirements of children.
“I think the amendments showed some positive public policy for this state, and I hate that they were not put on this bill,” said House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley).