- This will be the end of the idea of closing the coverage gap in Tennessee. 280,000 Tennesseans without insurance will remain 280,000 Tennesseans without insurance. Tennessee legislators have been adamant about being a trigger state. If something happens to decrease federal participation they want a way to close down any expansion where the state does not get stuck with the bill. From what I understand the reference year for block grants is 2016 so anybody who gets added from here to the end of the Medicaid expansion will not be figured in the amount Tennessee is block granted. The passage of the American Health Care Act will be the end of any systematic effort in Tennessee to give insurance to those without it. People will die that don’t have to die. People will suffer that don’t have to suffer. The economic effects for Tennessee rural hospitals will be astronomical. It will be catastrophe on many levels for Tennessee. Poverty will become even more of a terminal disease.
- To those who are without insurance and try to pick it up on your own the premiums will be 30% higher than those charged to others. The people the hardest hit will be those who are poorest and sickest. It will put many vulnerable people in inhumane situations.
- The subsidies are less. For some people a lot less. They will no longer be income based and needing more help will be no assurance you will get more. One study quoted an example. A 60 year old with a 20,000 year income would get a 9874 under the ACA. Under Trumpcare they would get 4,000.
- If you are old you can be charged as much as 5 times as younger people for your premiums. You get less help to pay and have to pay more.
- The plan caps Medicaid spending. There is no more pay for what is needed. The result inevitability will result in people cut and services cut.
This plan means disaster on so many levels for Tennesseans. This is by no means a complete list of what is facing us. If the US Congress was a foreign country (and maybe in a way it is) this would be seen as an act of war, an act of aggression against a vulnerable and basically defenseless population. And while that comparison is perhaps over dramatic there is a measure of truth in it. In the strangest of circumstances there is a very good chance that a law will be enacted that is basically an act of aggression against a sizeable part of the population that those passing the law supposedly serve.
The Republicans like to talk about “those ” people, the people unlike you are keeping America from being “great.” If you are poor, if you live in a rural community, if you are old and if you need medical care or will need medical care they are not coming after “those people”. They are coming after you.
If we want a different truth, a different future for Tennessee it is in what we do from here on out. Do not go quietly. Do not go gently. Do not go with good manners. It is about the lives of many people. It may be about yours.