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Tennessee Medical Professionals Respond to the Cassidy/Collins Affordable Care Act Replacement “Plan” and Call on Senator Alexander to Oppose It

Tennessee Medical Professionals: this “Replacement” doesn’t protect key provisions of the Affordable Care Act and Senator Alexander should put forward a plan that protects what we have, before rushing to repeal.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee medical professionals with the Alliance for Healthcare Security held a press call response to a proposed replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act introduced by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), rejecting its quality, affordability and questioning its alleged benefits.

Dr. Thomas Phelps, family medicine practitioner, Tullahoma, TN said,

“The Cassidy / Collins proposal is not a viable replacement plan for the ACA because it would reduce coverage, repeal protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and increase premiums.” and  “Senator Alexander, on behalf of my patients and your constituents in Tennessee, please stop your rush to repeal the Affordable Care Act until you first pass a replacement that ensures the same protections or better.” added Dr. Phelps.

Nurse Practitioner, Rich Henighan, APRN of Knoxville, TN added,

“The plan introduced leaves too many unanswered questions. Before repealing Obamacare Congress should first pass something that protects what we have and improves it — but that’s not what they are doing.

 

    • The Republican proposal repeals essential health benefit (EHB) requirements, allowing insurance companies to once again discriminate against patients. Currently the ACA requires a comprehensive health benefit package, including prescription drugs, maternity coverage, mental health and substance use disorder benefits, free preventative care and others.  Repealing the Essential Health Benefits would mean that maternity care would no longer be covered.  Before the ACA, 88% of plans did not cover maternity care, meaning that rolling back this provision would make it harder to start families. [National Women’s Law Center, 2015]
    • Repealing the individual mandate would lead to lower coverage and higher premiums. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that repealing the individual mandate alone would raise premiums by twenty percent and increase the number of people without coverage by 43 million people. [CBO, 12/08/16]
    • The plan makes it harder for people with pre-existing condition to access coverage.  The Cassidy/Collins bill only guarantees coverage if people maintain coverage for 12 months preceding enrollment. People with pre-existing conditions that don’t maintain continuous coverage either get a very limited benefit package or face a new, expensive enrollment penalty.
    • The “plan” doesn’t show how it will protect the current ObamaCare ban on insurance companies charging women more than men just because she is a woman.
    • The “plan” doesn’t show how it will protect current ObamaCare provisions that require insurance companies in all states to cover check-ups for kids, mammograms and birth control without co-pays.
    • The ‘plan’ doesn’t show how it will protect current ObamaCare provisions that cover mental health and prescription drugs.
    • Their “plan” doesn’t have details showing how they’ll make coverage more affordable for people by lowering premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs – while not taking away any of their current benefits.
    • Their plan doesn’t answer whether people who currently get a health insurance tax credit will continue to receive the same amount or more so that they not only “have access to coverage” but can afford it.
    • Their plan doesn’t answer how they will keep the ObamaCare provision that prevents insurance companies from charging people over 55 more than they are today.
    • Their plan doesn’t show how they’ll protect the ObamaCare requirement that large companies and other big employers to continue providing health coverage for their employees.”

Dr. Phelps concluded,

“Bottomline, Senator Alexander, Senator Corker where is the replacement plan that protects for my patients, and your constituents key protections of the Affordable Care Act? Before rushing to take away something our patients are counting on you should first replace it with something at least as good as or better than what they have now.”

MORE INFORMATION

  • Download the Press Call Audio Recording (click here)
  • Tennessee Public Policy Polling Report: (click here)  
  • Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Report (click here)


About the Alliance for Healthcare Security

The Alliance of Healthcare Security is a national coalition of nurses, caregivers, patients, and healthcare advocates that works to educate consumers on the importance of the Affordable Care Act.