This week Forbes profiled a bill in the Tennessee House of Representatives that takes a “patient-centered, free-market approach to transform healthcare in Tennessee.”
The bill, known as the CARE Plan creates price transparency through the Right to Shop Bill and more data on healthcare prices. The legislation also promotes competition among institutions, facilities, and providers through Certificate of Need Reform — one that loosens requirements — to benefit both urban and rural access needs, said Americans for Tax Reform Vice President of State Affairs Patrick Gleason.
Gleason is also a senior fellow at the Nashville-based Beacon Center of Tennessee, a free market think tank.
The CARE Plan also is designed to increases rural healthcare access through Telehealth and Telemedicine alternatives. The legislation also explores options to increase access to behavioral health services, including medication-assisted therapy for substance use disorder. The bill if enacted into law, would request federal block grants to empower Tennessee to create a healthcare system that addresses our unique needs, Gleason wrote in Forbes.
“This plan is an important first step in addressing the health concerns of all Tennesseans through increased competition and transparency, and once again, this plan demonstrates Tennessee’s ability to lead on an important issue with both local and national implications,” Formers quoted Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin), as saying.
Tennessee, as Gleason went on to say, is one of 14 states that has rejected calls to impose Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid, “a program that many say is already growing at an unsustainable pace, despite a push for expansion by the previous governor.”
New Republican Gov. Bill Lee said he opposes implementing ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion in Tennessee.
State Rep. Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) said in Forbes that “Our approach is to create a system that puts patients and providers in charge and provides important resources that will empower our citizens to make informed decisions so they can address their unique health needs.”
Representative Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro) said the CARE Plan’s goal is to bring down the cost of health care and expand access, particularly for those who live in rural communities, by harnessing new technologies.
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Bryan Terry (Right)” by Bryan Terry. Photo “Cameron Sexton (Left)” by Cameron Sexton. Background Photo “Tennessee Capitol” by Reading Tom. CC BY 2.0.