From WREG TV
Haslam stops in Frayser to promote his Insure Tennessee plan
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Haslam was in Frayser Wednesday, making a pitch for his Insure Tennessee program.
It would allow the Volunteer State to opt-in to the Affordable Care Act, giving it a windfall of federal dollars for insuring the poor.
“Not only is this good for Tennessee, I think it’s the right thing to do for the country. And the direction we should be going in with healthcare,” Haslam said.
Haslam got right to the heart of why he came to Frayser Wednesday afternoon. His stop at Christ Community Health Services was one of nine he’s making to promote his Insure Tennessee healthcare plan.
He made his pitch to a standing room only crowd that included state legislators from Shelby County.
“Healthcare is one-sixth of our total country’s economy. It’s eating up more and more of the State’s budget,” Gov. Haslam said.
The governor’s plan would offer two different options: one called the Volunteer Plan, in which members would receive a fixed contribution voucher to purchase employer-sponsored insurance in the private market. The voucher would be used to pay for out-of-pocket expenses associated with that private coverage.
The second option is called Healthy Incentives Tennessee, in which members would receive Healthy Incentive Tennessee (HIT) accounts, into which members can earn contributions by making healthy choices and utilizing the health care system appropriately.
“If you’ll just make choices that any of us can make, then that’s cash out-of-pocket” need can be decreased,” Gov. Haslam said.
Haslam said the two-year pilot program would not create any new taxes for Tennesseans.
After fielding questions about premiums, co-pays and availability of care, among other questions, most everyone appeared to support the governor despite party affiliation.
“None of us wants to have it on our conscience that we denied our fellow Tennesseeans affordable healthcare because