Tennesseee Health Care Campaign (THCC)

Working for guaranteed affordable choices

Prop C a Shoe-in in the Show-me State

Posted by Susan McKay on August 3, 2010

Most sources predict, including poll from late July, that today Missourians will go to the polls and pass Prop C — ballot initiative giving their state govt. permission to block the individual mandate requirement under the new law that allows the federal govt. to require individuals to buy health insurance or be financially penalized.  What may become model legislation for other states only recently got attention from either the pro or con side.  Supporters of the measure turned it on in the last month and have messaged well and been better organized than the opposition — what opposition?  While a few influential interests have come out in opposition, there has been virtually no organized citizen effort — and, in these times, its all about populism and the perception of populism. Lesson here: working hard to pass a law if wasted work if supporters aren’t able to continue to advance the effort and at least try to fend off opposition. Change is hard work, harder still is protecting the change so it has time to take root. Pro progressive advocates (national advocates and state advocates across the nation) need to unite help our allies in threatened states.

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Posted in Mandates, Individual &or Employer, Natl Reform | Leave a Comment »

Medicare Reform: “Mmm, Mmm Good Cracker!” says Andy Griffin

Posted by Susan McKay on August 3, 2010

Andy Griffith thinks Medicare better under health care law.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Prevention is the Best Medicine

Posted by Susan McKay on July 15, 2010

American health care law guarantees more access for everybody, new health plans must provide free preventative care

Posted in Natl Reform, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Small Businesses Benefit Now

Posted by Susan McKay on July 1, 2010

The new health care law provides  benefits to small businesses … starting now!

2010

  • New tax credits for small employers contributing at least 50% of the total premium:
* Full 35% credit of an employer contribution will be available to small businesses with fewer than 10
employees averaging less than $25,000 annual wages.
* Sliding-scale up to 35% if fewer than 25 employees and average annual wages of less than $50,000
  • Insurers will no longer be able to drop coverage if you or an employee gets sick
  • No lifetime caps on benefits

2011

  • Grant money awarded to small businesses that establish employee wellness programs
  • Long‐term care insurance program to be financed by voluntary payroll deductions to provide benefits to adults who become functionally disabled.

2014

  • Tax credit will increase up to 50% of the employer premium contribution for previous 2 years
  • Small business owners with fewer than 100 employees can shop for and compare plans through the newonline marketplace called the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchange
  • Exchange benefits include:

• Pool risk with other small businesses, gives same competitive advantage as large businesses, lowering
costs and freeing up revenue to hire additional employees or give raises
• More choices of health plans through the Exchange; compare plans–apples to apples
• Employers select plan(s) (bronze, silver, gold, platinum)to offer, and let employees pick the plan that
works best for them

  • Employer Insurance Coverage Requirements:

o 50 or fewer employees: Exempt from employer requirements to provide insurance
o 51 or more employees: Don’t offer coverage, and 1 or more full-time employees receive premium
credit, employer assessed $2,000/full-time employee, excluding the first 30 employee.
o 51 or more employee: Offer coverage, but 1 or more full-time employees receive a premium credit,
employer pays the lesser of $3,000 for each employee receiving a premium credit or $2,000 for
each full-time employee

  • Insurers banned from discriminating against health status (pre-existing conditions), so costs won’t skyrocket
  • if an employee gets sick
  • Clear language required on insurance forms to make it easier to understand what benefits and doctors
  • are covered through a given plan
  • Annual limits on coverage prohibited
  • Deductibles limited to $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families in small group market

IRS and Small Business Tax Credits @ http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=220839,00.html
Council for Nonprofits @ http://www.councilofnonprofits.org/public-policy/federal-policy-issues/health-care-reform/small-employer-credit
Small Business Majority’s Small Business Calculator @ http://smallbusinessmajority.org/tax-credit-calculator/

Posted in TN Small Business Coalition | Leave a Comment »

Tri Cities LOG Celebrates Historic Health Reform

Posted by Susan McKay on July 1, 2010

Members of the Tri Cities LOG smiled thinking about their efforts that went into winning historic health reform law. What next?  Educating Tennesseans about the benefits of the new law! That should keep them busy for a few months — at least!

Pictured: Don , Linda Nwosu, Claire Lovelace, Tony Garr, Gloria Samuels, Sharon Brown, Bob Samuels, Beth Uselton, Susan Allen, Marie Pendzich, Judy Garland

Posted in LOGs | Leave a Comment »

New High-risk Pool Begins in TN

Posted by Susan McKay on July 1, 2010

THCC reminds Tennesseans about existing high-risk pool, Access TN & Urge consumers to compare both options

Nashville, TN (Jun 30, 2010)—  Uninsured Tennesseans with pre-existing medical conditions will soon have another choice for obtaining health care coverage.

The new high-risk pool provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act takes effect July 1. The Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is a new choice of quality coverage for Tennesseans who have been without health coverage for at least six months and who have been denied coverage because of pre-existing health conditions. PCIP is a new option and not a replacement for the state’s existing high-risk pool called Access TN, http://www.covertn.gov .

“I am glad that Tennesseans will have another choice. It is important that uninsured people with existing medical conditions check out the advantages of both pools before they decide,” said Tony Garr, executive director of the Tennessee Health Care Campaign.

Consumer health care advocacy group, the Tennessee Health Care Campaign (THCC), believes the new federal pool will mostly help those in higher income brackets, but will not help the most of the 1.3 million* Tennesseans with pre-existing conditions because the premiums are simply too high.  THCC is urging individuals deemed as “uninsurable” to take a look at both high-risk pools and see which one is their best option.

For Tennesseans with incomes below $64,000 for a family of three or $75,000 for a family of four, Access TN may be the best choice because premium discounts of 20, 40 and 60 percent are available. In addition, the waiting period is only three months as compared to six months for the new federal pre-existing condition insurance plan.

New Health Reform Website

Starting July 1, find the new coverage available in Tennessee and information about the complete range of health coverage options available for consumers by ZIP code @ http://www.healthcare.gov .

*Health Reform: A Closer Look – Help for Tennesseans with Pre-existing Conditions @ http://www.familiesusa.org/assets/pdfs/health-reform/pre-existing-conditions/tennessee.pdf

Posted in LOGs, Natl Reform, TN Small Business Coalition | Leave a Comment »

What’s in it for Tennessee & me?

Posted by Susan McKay on June 30, 2010

THCC’s SPEAKERS’ NETWORK

Committed to Educating Tennesseans About the Benefits of New Health Reform Law

Even as we celebrate the new guarantees of excellence and security in the new health care law, we realize that it’s darned confusing! No wonder, given that health care takes up about 18 percent of our GDP!  Still, Tennesseans will greatly benefit from a step forward on the continuum of justice that reflects our American values of fairness, trust, responsibility, security, and human dignity.

The Tennessee Health Care Campaign is on a mission to education Tennesseans about what’s in the new law and why it good for them and our state.  We are looking to give educational presentations — anytime, anywhere!  So, if you want to learn more about historic health reform, contact us to come and give a presentation to your organization.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Historic Health Reform Victory Celebration!

Posted by Susan McKay on June 30, 2010

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Kucinich Switches Vote on Health Care

Posted by Susan McKay on March 17, 2010

Kucinich Switches Vote on Health Care
By JEFF ZELENY
10:28 a.m. | Updated

Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, said today that he plans to support the health care bill when it comes up for a vote this week. He becomes the first Democrat to publicly disclose his intention to switch from a “no” to a “yes” vote on the legislation.

“I’ve decided to cast a vote in favor of the legislation,” Mr. Kucinich said at a morning news conference in the Capitol. “If my vote is to be counted, let it count now for passage of the bill, hopefully in the direction of comprehensive health care reform.”

Mr. Kucinich said he was “quite aware of the historic fight” underway and decided to drop his opposition that the bill did not go far enough. He said, “I believe health care is a civil right.”

Posted in Bills/Plans, Major Players, Natl Reform, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Oh, Those Poor, Poor Insurance Companies

Posted by Susan McKay on February 19, 2010

New report “Insurance Companies Prosper, American Families Suffer.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »