Coalition for a Healthy TN forms to support Insure Tennessee
By WRCB Staff
NASHVILLE, TN (WRCB) -
A statewide group of about 80 business, health care and civic groups have formed the Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee to deliver advocacy in support of the Insure Tennessee plan introduced Monday by Governor Bill Haslam.
Coalition members include the Tennessee Business Roundtable, chambers of commerce, health care providers, businesses and civic organizations. On Tuesday morning, the Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee launched a campaign websiteand its members began a statewide effort to support legislative passage of Insure Tennessee.
“The business community has been skeptical of any type of health care reform in the state, but we have listened to Governor Haslam and his proposal is clearly not just Medicaid expansion. This is a Tennessee solution to a Tennessee problem,” said coalition spokesman Charlie Howorth, Executive Director of the Tennessee Business Roundtable.
Without the Governor's plan, Tennessee will pay an estimated $7.8 billion worth of taxes towards other states' health care programs between 2013 and 2022, according to a 2014 report from the Urban Institute.
Additional reasons for the Coalition's support of Insure Tennessee include:
• Positive impact to health outcomes. Tennessee now ranks No. 45 among all states in the most recent America's Health Rankings, an annual analysis of the health of the nation conducted by UnitedHealth Foundation. As access to coverage and care is a contributing factor to Tennessee's chronically poor condition, Insure Tennessee would provide access to hundreds of thousands of working Tennesseans.
• Benefits for all of Tennessee. The plan ensures access to health care in all 95 counties, support for community hospitals that serve as critical lifelines and stimulate our economy.
• Sound fiscal policy for Tennessee. Insure Tennessee will not create any new taxes or divert state revenues from other priorities. The Governor's plan, which is based on private health market principles, relies on currently paid Medicaid taxes to draw matching federal funds, and requires patients to participate financially.
The Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee will regularly conduct education and advocacy events and provide data-based information in support of the Insure Tennessee proposal.