|Tonight in Johnson City, Tennessee, President Trump will stump for Marsha Blackburn in her run for Senate. Blackburn has come under fire for her repeal-and-sabotage health care record, as well as the moves she has made to weaken the DEA’s opioid enforcement at a time when deaths due to the opioid epidemic in Tennessee were twice the national average. Said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, in response to Blackburn’s Senate run:
“Blackburn’s heartless record of ripping health care away from people while doing favors for big drug companies disqualifies her from a promotion to the U.S. Senate. With Blackburn in the Senate, there’d be no more protections for people with pre-existing conditions and insurance companies could once again charge Americans over 50 more for their coverage. Make no mistake, Blackburn’s idea of health care would mean Americans get zero while Big Pharma takes all, at a time when their profits are higher than ever.”
Although Marsha Blackburn Has Claimed To Support Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions, the Truth Is:
BLACKBURN VOTED TO REPEAL PROTECTIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS, AND MORE
2011: Blackburn Voted To Repeal And Defund The ACA. Blackburn voted for the fiscal 2012 budget that would have repealed and defunded the Affordable Care Act. [HCR 34, Roll Call Vote #277, 4/15/11]
2013: Blackburn Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA. Blackburn voted for HR 45, an act “to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.” [HR 45, Roll Call Vote #154, 5/16/13]
2015: Blackburn Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA. Blackburn voted for HR 596, an act “to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.” The bill also ordered House committees to develop a replacement that would “provide people with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health coverage,” but provided no specifics. [HR 596, Roll Call Vote #58, 2/3/15]
What would full repeal of the Affordable Care Act Eliminate in Tennessee?
- Protections for 2.7 million Tennesseans if they buy coverage on their own
- Improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs
- Allowing kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26
- Ban on annual and lifetime limits
- Ban on insurance discrimination against women
- Limit on out-of-pocket costs
- Medicaid expansion currently covering 15 million people
- Rules to hold insurance companies accountable
- Small business tax credits
- Marketplace tax credits and coverage for up to 200,000 Tennesseans
BLACKBURN VOTED TO STRIP COVERAGE FROM TENNESSEANS AND GUT COVERAGE FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS
2017: Blackburn Voted For AHCA. Blackburn voted for passage of the American Health Care Act. [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #256, 5/4/17]
What Did AHCA Mean for Tennessee?
- In 2026, more than 630,000 Tennesseans would lose coverage under this bill.
- The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the American Health Care Act would have raised premiums 20 percent in 2018.
- AHCA imposed what the AARP calls an “age tax” on older Americans. In Tennessee, out-of-pocket costs for older people could increase by as much as $12,325 by 2026.
- The negative economic impact of the American Health Care Act would cause 32,241 Tennesseans to lose their jobs by 2022.
What Did AHCA Mean For Pre-Existing Conditions?
- The American Health Care Act weakens key protections of the Affordable Care Act by allowing states to let insurers charge people with pre-existing conditions more, among other provisions. The bill would also make it more likely insurers would cherrypick young and healthier people, causing costs to skyrocket for older, sicker people.
- The American Health Care Act allowed states to eliminate community rating, meaning insurers would be able to charge people with pre-existing conditions more. This surcharge could be in the tens of thousands of dollars and even six figures: up to $4,270 for asthma, $17,060 for pregnancy, $26,180 for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 for metastatic cancer.
- Politifact found that AHCA “would weaken protections” for those with pre-existing conditions and “would allow states to give insurers the power to charge people significantly more.”
2018: Blackburn Said She Remains Committed To Repealing The Affordable Care Act. “Last year, the Senate failed its promise to the American people when it refused to repeal the law, but Marsha remains committed to returning health care to a patient-centered system where families and doctors can make their decisions.” [Marsha for Senate, accessed 9/28/18]