State House Republicans on Thursday introduced a free-market plan that focuses on patients, nicknamed CARE, to transform healthcare in Tennessee, especially rural areas.
The Tennessee House Republicans press release is available here.
The legislative package is composed of 11 bills throughout the session, which the state GOP caucus said will “reshape healthcare in Tennessee through Consumerism, increasing Access, improving Rural health systems, and Empowering patients to ensure individuals and families to make all medical decisions, instead of insurance companies or the government.”
The CARE Plan will generate price transparency and increased data on prices, Republicans said. A claims database will provide consumers with information to allow them to save money and improve the healthcare system’s performance. Other benefits include streamlining of billing, promotion of competition, better drug prices, use of telemedicine and more. The plan will help people even if they have pre-existing conditions, Republicans said.
The move by Tennessee Republicans comes days after North Carolina’s state legislators introduced a bill to address healthcare costs, Forbes said.
The publication said:
Earlier this week Republican legislators who hold majorities in the North Carolina House and Senate introduced Senate Bill 86, the Small Business Healthcare Act, legislation introduced by Senators Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg) and Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth) that seeks to help small business owners offer more reasonably-priced health insurance to their employees by loosening requirements for Association Health Plans (AHPs).
Proponents of SB 86 say it would help level the playing field between small businesses and large companies, making it possible for small employers to offer better, more competitive benefits packages.
Tennessee Republicans are saying their bills also would benefit their constituents.
Regarding Tennessee’s CARE Plan, State House Speaker and Rep. Glen Casada (R-TN-63) said, “This plan is an important first step in addressing the health concerns of all Tennesseans through increased competition and transparency, and once again, it demonstrates Tennessee’s ability to lead on an important issue with both local and national implications.”
House Majority Leader and Rep. William Lamberth (R-TN-44) said, “We need a free market healthcare system that will increase competition and ultimately lower overall costs.”
State Rep. Dr. Bryan Terry (R-TN-48) said, “With more and more government and middlemen intrusion into the patient-physician relationship, the ‘Headache to Healthcare ratio’ has continued to rise, leading to barriers to access and out of control costs. The result has been a shift in the health care model which has unfortunately led to consolidation of services into a more regional model, as opposed to a model that addresses the needs of specific communities.”
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