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Pushback grows for bill exempting state from health reform

Pushback grows for bill exempting state from health reform

Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 8:03 pm
By: Laura Thornquist, Special to The Press

By Laura Thornquist
Special to The Press
NASHVILLE – Health care reform has changed the life of 23-year-old Tennessean Charles McFadden and his family. At 19, he was diagnosed with leukemia. Now, Charles can stay on his parents’ health insurance plan until age 26 and then get his own health insurance, because of the provision that eliminates pre-existing conditions.
However, McFadden’s security is on shaky ground. A bill in a state House subcommittee could undercut the law.
Charles’ mom, Nancy McFadden, says the federal Affordable Care Act is keeping her son alive.
“I love the federal plan – and not only for us. It’s just manifest justice to not have pre-existing conditions deny you health coverage.”
Beth Uselton, executive director of Tennessee Health Care Campaign, warns that if the Health Care Compact bill were enacted, it would move the Medicare program from the federal government to the state’s bureau of TennCare.
Then its beneficiaries would no longer receive federal government protections.
“In an attempt to thumb their nose at Washington, they’re going to revoke all of the federal protections that we’ve enjoyed for our health care in the state of Tennessee. My fear is that those who are pushing the health care compact do not understand what they are jeopardizing.”
Supporters of the Tennesee Health Care Compact (HB369) say health care is too large to manage by federal mandate. Their bill, scheduled for a vote Tuesday, declares Tennessee wants to join other states that would exempt them from following the Affordable Care Act.
If that happens, Charles McFadden could wind up being uninsured again, at age 26.

wcp 4/5/11

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