Health Care

TN attorney general joins new Republican-led lawsuit seeking to end Obamacare

Republican attorneys general in 20 states, including Tennessee, have filed a new lawsuit asking the courts to overturn the Affordable Care Act, reports WPLN. The lawsuit filed in Texas on Monday contends that without the individual mandate, Obamacare is unconstitutional.

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Columnist in chemotherapy backs medical marijuana bill

Frank Cagle, currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer, declares his support for legislation to legalize medical cannabis oil in his current News Sentinel column. It begins as follows:

If you lose 40 pounds and the sight and smell of food make you wretch, you are tempted to try most anything for relief. If you ask around, you can find cannabis oil here in Tennessee. But it has drawbacks.

— You don’t know where it came from.

— You don’t know what the dosage is.

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State gets new TennCare fraud investigator

Press release from Department of Finance and Administration

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A veteran law enforcement investigator with Medicaid fraud experience has been named Inspector General in the Department of Finance and Administration (F&A). Kim Harmon will lead efforts to combat fraud among members of TennCare, the state’s healthcare insurance program.  She succeeds Emmanuel (Manny) Tyndall, who is retiring after 14 years in the office, including four as Inspector General.

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Legislators file revised medical marijuana bill

Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) speaks on the House floor on Jan. 18., 2018 (Photo credit: Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) speaks on the House floor on Jan. 18., 2018 (Photo credit: Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Press release from Senate Republican Caucus

NASHVILLE – State Sen. Steve Dickerson (R-Nashville) and Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) today introduced Medical Cannabis Only Act of 2018, legislation that would allow Tennessee patients with specific health conditions access to safe, regulated medical cannabis oil-based manufactured products only.
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TN Department of Health gets new assistant commissioner

Press release from state Department of Health

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Valerie Oliver, MBA, CPA has been named assistant commissioner for administrative services for the Tennessee Department of Health. She comes to this position after serving as department controller for TDH since April 2015.

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Medicaid expansion: Still pushed by Democrats, panned by Republicans

On the opening day of the 2018 legislative session Tuesday, about 100 protesters were on hand urging Medicaid expansion in Tennessee and House Democrats made a round of speeches supporting the idea. But Republican supermajority members remained hostile to the proposal, as they have since Gov. Bill Haslam tried and failed to win approval three years ago.

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Cancer survivor running as Democrat against Kelsey in Senate District 31

Gabriela Salinas, a native of Bolivia who gained media attention as a childhood cancer survivor treated at St. Jude’s Hospital in Memphis, is seeking the Democratic nomination to the state Senate seat now held by Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown. WMC-TV says her life story “has plot twists worthy of a Steven Spielberg film.”

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Trump encourages Alexander to keep trying on Obamacare deal

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander says President Donald Trump called him in late December to urge that the Tennessee Republican continue efforts to shore up health insurance markets, reports Politico in an article updating the Obamacare situation in Washington.

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Alexander gives up on Obamacare premium fix — until February or so

Joint press release from Sens. Lamar Alexander and  Susan Collins

WASHINGTON, December 20, 2017—United States Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) today jointly released the following statement:

“Rather than considering a broad year-end funding agreement as we expected, it has become clear that Congress will only be able to pass another short-term extension to prevent a government shutdown and to continue a few essential programs,” said the Senators.  “For this reason, we have asked Senator McConnell not to offer this week our legislation which independent analysts Avalere and Oliver-Wyman say would reduce premiums by about 20 percent for the 9 million Americans who have no government subsidies to help them buy insurance in the individual market. Instead, we will offer it after the first of the year when the Senate will consider the omnibus spending bill, the Children’s Health Insurance Program reauthorization, funding for Community Health Centers, and other legislation that was to have been enacted this week.

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Comptroller finds fault with TennCare paperwork pile

The state Comptroller’s Office says TennCare’s 98-page renewal form is making it harder than necessary for low-income Tennesseans to maintain their subsidized government health coverage, reports WPLN.

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