Fight Far From Over: Tennesseans Would Suffer Under Senate Health Repeal

“Senate Republicans may have delayed votes on their health care repeal bill, but the fight to defeat this disastrous legislation is far from over. This bill is unconscionably cruel and would hurt Tennessee’s workers, women, children, seniors and middle class families, all while the wealthiest Americans cash in from big tax breaks,” said DNC Spokesperson Vedant Patel.


Here is a look at a few of the ways Tennesseans will suffer under the Senate bill:


BOTTOM LINE: The Senate bill would kick Tennesseans off their health insurance, drive the state’s uninsured rate up, and increase average Tennessee marketplace premiums – all by next year, before they ultimately decline as plans get skimpier and out of pocket costs increase.


WORKING TENNESSEANS: By slashing Medicaid, the Senate bill could  jeopardize services that support nearly 1.6 million people in Tennessee where nearly 75% of Medicaid enrollees are from working families.


SICK TENESSEANS: Tennesseans could see essential health benefits scaled back, which cover common treatments and services like maternity care, prescription drugs and substance abuse treatment. The Tennessee Medical Association warned that the Senate bill would hurt efforts to improve Tennessee’s overall health outcomes and urged lawmakers to oppose the bill.


TENNESSEANS STRUGGLING WITH SUBSTANCE ABUSE: The Senate bill, which contains only a single reference to the opioid crisis plaguing the country, allows states to choose not to provide substance abuse treatment that’s critical to combatting the deadly opioid crisis. Medicaid covers over a third of all Americans who are struggling with opioid addiction, and Medicaid cuts would have an outsized impact on Tennessee, where drug overdose deaths outpace the national rate.


OLDER TENNESSEANS: The Senate bill would cut Medicaid funding that helps cover essential services for 3 out of every 5 nursing home residents in Tennessee.


TENNESSEANS WITH DISABILITIES: By making deep cuts to Medicaid and imposing a per capita cap, the Senate bill could jeopardize access to care for the 2 out of every 5 Tennesseans with disabilities who rely on the program for support, such as home-and-community based services.


RURAL TENNESSEE COMMUNITIES: Low-income and rural residents would suffer heavily under the Senate bill, which increases costs and slashes spending on Medicaid. Hospitals in rural areas that rely on federal assistance for premiums would be in danger of closing, placing a disproportionate negative impact on older Americans from rural areas.