Justice for Consumers FTW!

The Affordable Care Act already benefits more than 100 million people including thousands of seniors, small businesses, women and children in Tennessee. Today’s announcement signals an end to constitutional debates and finally allows us all to move forward so Tennesseans can get the quality, affordable health care we need.

The decision also means relief and peace of mind for the people of Tennessee who were already benefiting under the law and are now protected from the worst abuses of the insurance companies. There is no doubt that he Affordable Care Act brings unprecedented transparency and oversight to the insurance industry.

  • Insurance companies can no longer deny care due to pre-existing conditions.
As of April 2012, 1,191 previously uninsured residents of Tennessee who were locked out of the coverage system because of a pre-existing condition are now insured through a new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan that was created under the new health reform law. [Healthcare.gov]
  • Insurance companies can no longer jack up our rates whenever they please. Small businesses and families will no longer pay higher rates for health insurance than big corporations.
In every State and for the first time under Federal law, insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more. Tennessee has received $5 million under the new law to help fight unreasonable premium increases. [Healthcare.gov)]
  • Insurance companies can no longer place place lifetime and annual caps on coverage that could once again limit care (the real “death panels”)and drive families into bankruptcy court and kill their access to the American Dream (home ownership, college, etc.).
The law bans insurance companies from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits – freeing cancer patients and individuals suffering from other chronic diseases from having to worry about going without treatment because of their lifetime limits….The law also restricts the use of annual limits and bans them completely in 2014.  (Healthcare.gov)
  • The law protects working people and their families.
As of December 2011, 59,000 young adults in Tennessee gained insurance coverage as a result of the health care law.
Most important, the law protects working families from losing everything they worked so hard for because they are trapped in a cycle of medical debt or bankruptcy. Tennessee Citizen Action’s priority is, and will always be, to ensure that the Affordable Care Act, which includes these very important consumer protection provisions and more, stays intact for the people of Tennessee. We are grateful for today’s ruling.
Read additional statements about today’s decision from other organizations in the TN trenches:

What’s Next?

Accountability. Since the day we passed the Affordable Care Act, we’ve faced delays, excuses and outright hostility from politicians at the state level. Now that the highest court in the country has declared the law is here to stay, we expect our elected officials to end their obsession with attacking the ACA and get to work on implementation.

Instead of trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act state by state, they should work on fixing the economy, making health care more affordable and creating and keeping more jobs in the U.S.
*FTW = For The Win!
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