Haslam, Alexander & Corker back latest Obamacare repeal effort

Gov. Bill Haslam is cheering for passage of a new U.S. Senate proposal for repealing Obamacare that he says is “flat out good for Tennessee.” Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker indicate they’ll vote for it, though there’s lots of criticism from doctors, hospitals, veterans and Democrats.

From the Times Free Press:

Haslam, who testified this month before a Senate health panel considering changes to Obamacare, said Tennessee should end up with more money and more choices under the plan from U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La. The Trump administration and GOP leaders are backing the plan.

Though other governors and Tennessee hospitals oppose the measure, Haslam told reporters Wednesday in Chattanooga the Graham-Cassidy bill will reallocate federal health care dollars in a way that boosts Tennessee’s share.

“We would take all of the money from the Affordable Care Act and reapportion it on a per-capita basis to all of the states. Because Tennessee didn’t take any of the Medicaid expansion money [from Obamacare], we’ll actually probably bring in about five times as much money out of the Affordable Care Act as we would before,” Haslam said after a speech to the Chattanooga Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“It’s flat-out good for Tennessee,” said Haslam, who earlier this week joined 14 fellow GOP governors in a letter supporting the legislation.

…Democrats pointed to a 50-state analysis by Avalere, a health-care consulting firm, that found Tennessee and other states would collectively lose $215 billion through 2026 and more than $4 trillion over a 20-year period.

The analysis estimated Tennessee could indeed gain $3 billion from 2020 to 2026. But Avalere also warned the Graham-Cassidy bill as written creates “a block grant funding cliff in 2027” that could affect Congress’ ability to appropriate additional funding.

Avalere said that “by 2027, states would see significantly larger declines in funding compared to current law, with 39 states and DC facing funding cuts, and 18 states with reductions of greater than $1 billion.”

From 2020 to 2027, Avalere said the collective loss could be a staggering $61 billion, the figure cited by Tennessee Democrats.

A Corker quote: “From the beginning of this debate, I have said that I want to generate an outcome that is better for the American people than what is in place today, and at present, I am very encouraged by the fact that the Graham-Cassidy legislation repeals the core elements of Obamacare and its one-size-fits-all approach and provides the flexibility governors across our country have been seeking for years.”

An Alexander quote: “I would like to vote for Graham-Cassidy because I like block grants and it appears to be good for Tennessee.”

2 Responses to Haslam, Alexander & Corker back latest Obamacare repeal effort

  • Maj Wheeler, Ret says:

    Gov Hashlam, , ,Senator Alexander,, Senator Corker…

    This is terrible…not good for Tennessee….SHAME..SHAME SAME…Senators Corker and Alexander YOU SHOULD VOTE FOR GRAHAN CASSIDY… We will remember at the voting booth…

    Maj Wheeler, USA, Ret

  • Marilyn says:

    PLEASE DO NOT VOTE FOR THIS BILL ! IT IS BAD FOR TENNESSEE !! AND WILL TAKE INSURANCE AWAY FROM THOUSANDS OF TENNESSEANS WHO HAVE PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS !

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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