Obamacare | Nashville Public Radio

Obamacare

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Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander has backed off his demands to add health insurance subsidies for low-income Americans to a year-end spending bill.

Alexander was the co-sponsor of a bipartisan bill that would fund subsidies to insurance companies that offer plans on the marketplace. Another bill addressing Obamacare was co-sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

Nearly half of Tennesseans thought the Affordable Care Act should be repealed as Donald Trump was elected President last November. But Vanderbilt's latest statewide polling finds that number has dropped closer to a third, and hopes for a Republican alternative have also withered over the last year.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

More Tennesseans seem to be buying health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, even though advertising has dropped considerably under the Trump Administration. Open enrollment for 2018 ends Friday at midnight, and the number of applications processed by federally-funded insurance guides — known as navigators — has already surpassed last year. Many enrollees are finding that despite a leap in average price, they are paying less.

courtesy Pexels

Tennesseans may end up paying less for insurance on the Affordable Care Act marketplace this year — that's as average rates went up by as much as 42 percent. Even the people who assist in signups for coverage were surprised by the final costs they're seeing.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The consultants hired to help Tennesseans sign up for health insurance on the Affordable Care Act marketplace have their work cut out for them. At a kickoff event Wednesday, they were reminded that the White House has cut 90 percent of the advertising budget and shortened the open enrollment period by half.

Daniel Dubois / courtesy Vanderbilt via Flickr

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has cut a deal with Cigna to keep seeing Obamacare patients in Middle Tennessee. The region's largest hospital was just weeks from being out-of-network for Nashville-area residents who buy health insurance on the federal marketplace.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is cheering the latest effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, while opponents of the measure are scrambling to derail it before the legislation can pass the U.S. Senate.

Haslam joined 14 other Republican governors Wednesday in signing a letter praising a plan to repeal the ACA's individual mandate, to do away with the requirement that individuals purchase insurance and to convert Medicaid to a system of so-called block grants to the states.

In an appearance in Chattanooga, Haslam called the proposal, known as Graham-Cassidy, a "home run for Tennessee" because the state will receive more money than it currently does for Medicaid.

U.S. Senate

Gov. Bill Haslam urged Congress Thursday morning to adopt a short-term fix to health insurance markets while continuing to work on bringing down medical costs over the long haul, as he joined four other governors at a hearing before a Senate committee.

Appearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, Haslam said Congress has an obligation to pass legislation that would encourage insurers to keep selling plans on exchanges set up through the Affordable Care Act. If not, millions of Americans would lose coverage.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Vice President Mike Pence touted the strong economy and, despite moves by Congress to turn to other issues, pledged to keep pushing for repeal of the Affordable Care Act in a speech to a record 2,000 people at the Tennessee Republican Party's annual Statesmen's Dinner.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Political leaders and advocates for the health care industry in Tennessee have begun to turn their attention to the future of Obamacare, after Senate Republicans signaled Tuesday that efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act were likely to fail.

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