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Beacon Report Details ‘Negative Effects’ of Obamacare

Press release from The Beacon Center of Tennessee; October 17, 2012: 

NASHVILLE – The Beacon Center of Tennessee today released a policy report outlining several state-led solutions to our nation’s healthcare woes. Over the next few months, Tennessee officials will have to make vital determinations about the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

The decisions confronting policymakers include whether to expand Medicaid and to set up a state health insurance exchange. The report, “A Cure for What Ails Us: State-Led Healthcare Solutions to Fix Washington’s Botches,” addresses these two key issues.

The report outlines Beacon’s reasoning for calling on Gov. Bill Haslam and state lawmakers to reject an unaffordable and immoral expansion of Medicaid. And while establishing a state health insurance exchange may sound like the right solution in theory, the report reveals the serious consequences of such action for taxpayers.

“Our report articulates the negative effects of implementing PPACA in Tennessee, which will contribute to the degradation of the doctor-patient relationship and the quality of healthcare for our citizens,” said Beacon Center CEO Justin Owen.

Even if PPACA is repealed as some candidates for public office have pledged to do, there will still be a strong need for free market reforms to fix our broken healthcare system. “A Cure for What Ails Us” offers a path forward with solutions to drive down the cost of health insurance and healthcare, thereby expanding access to both for all Tennesseans.

“Rather than welcoming PPACA’s one-size-fits-all approach to place even more barriers between patients and doctors, state lawmakers should shield Tennesseans from the law’s harmful effects and work instead to implement free market reforms that will actually improve their access to quality healthcare,” stated Trey Moore, the Beacon Center’s director of policy.

“A Cure for What Ails Us” breaks down the issues facing our healthcare system through in-depth policy discussions and real life experiences, telling the stories of Tennesseans who are already coping with and preparing for the effects of PPACA.

The report can be viewed online at: http://www.beacontn.org/wp-content/uploads/A-Cure-For-What-Ails-Us_web.pdf.

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Featured Health Care NewsTracker

Haslam Among Republican Governors Who Believe Block Grants Would Improve Obamacare

Gov. Bill Haslam was mentioned prominently in a Forbes piece Thursday, after he and four other GOP governors said they would consider an expansion of Medicaid under the federal health care reform law if the money were awarded as a block grant.

“Obviously, as a Republican, I’m with those folks who say, if you can block grant us Medicaid, we’d look at it differently,” Haslam said, according to Politico. The governors were at a weekend meeting of the National Governors Association in Virginia.

The block grant idea is dear to the hearts of conservatives, who say the setup would free states from onerous federal restrictions and give states the power to keep expenses in check. Governing magazine explains the history and criticism that such a plan would reduce the number of people covered, especially in times of economic strain.

The governors have the option of saying no to a Medicaid expansion in their states without losing existing Medicaid funding, based on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month that upheld the Affordable Care Act.

This week the state held a meeting at Vanderbilt to seek input on what insurers should be required to cover in plans offered in the state, according to the Tennessean:

These rules will apply to individual policies and small-employer group plans, including those offered through the state insurance exchange after Jan. 1, 2014. The federal law, often referred to as Obamacare, directs that these plans have the same level of coverage as those typically offered by a large employer. But the law leaves it up to the states to set those benchmarks. …

States have 10 basic plans currently offered by large employer groups from which to choose a benchmark, but they can modify whichever reference plan they choose.

The meeting attracted people with health complaints from loss of hearing to infertility, wanting to make sure the state’s standards would require their ailment be covered, WPLN reported.

Another component of the health care law got a boost from a Tennessean Wednesday. Former Sen. Bill Frist urged states to set up their own health insurance exchanges. The exchanges will foster competition and are “the most innovative, market-driven, and ultimately constructive part of the law,” Frist wrote in a column for The Week.

Opponents of the law have urged the opposite. The Cato Institute calls them “the new government bureaucracies” for forcing people “to purchase Obamacare’s overpriced and overregulated health insurance.”

In May, the Kaiser Family Foundation expressed doubt that Tennessee would meet a deadline to submit a plan for its exchange this fall. The state has accepted more than $9 million in federal tax dollars for planning and establishment efforts.