WASHINGTON (WATE) – Senator Lamar Alexander took a moment to address the future of the Affordable Care Act.
Posting a video to his Twitter page last week, Senator Alexander said he hopes to calm some fears about what happens next. Knoxville’s last insurer, Humana, announced last week that they were leaving the Affordable Care Act’s public insurance exchange in 2018.
Previous story: Insurer Humana bails on ACA exchange business for 2018
“We had an unpleasant reminder this week that there is a real Obamacare emergency in Tennessee,” said Senator Alexander.
Next year more than 70,000 Tennesseans will have to find new insurance, according to Senator Alexander. Craig Griffith, WATE 6 On Your Side Health Analyst, says people currently on the Affordable Care Act will have to resort to older methods of healthcare if President Donald Trump does not repeal and replace or if no other providers come to the area.
“In the Knoxville area, next year, 2018, that means there won’t be an option for you for insurance. If you have an Obamacare subsidy it will be just like having a bus ticket in a town where no buses run,” said Senator Alexander. “We’re taking steps to deal with that.”
Senator Alexander who is a chairman for the U.S. Senate Committee on health, education, labor and pensions said Congress will take action in the next few weeks to provide a stable situation while they repair Obamacare. He said Dr. Tom Price,the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services has issued some new rules to make sure insurance companies stay in the market.
A non-partisan grassroots citizen’s coalition is hoping to answer questions about healthcare. The group has partnered with the city of Knoxville, Tennessee Healthcare Campaign and Knoxville League of Women Voters to hold a town hall Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at Whittle Springs Middle School. WATE 6 On Your Side anchor Lori Tucker will moderate the free discussion with a panel of area health care and policy experts.
Previous story: Knoxville town hall to discuss access to health care