Senator Alexander Is Misleading Constituents About The Health Care Bill

The Senate bill makes huge cuts to vital programs

Nashville, Tenn. (June 26, 2017) –

In correspondence to constituents, Senator Lamar Alexander is making misleading claims about his party’s health care plan.

CLAIM: The bill “Provides more money for hospitals that serve low-income Tennesseans who don’t have insurance.”

FACT: The Tennessee Hospital Association opposes the bill because of the “dramatic reduction in Medicaid funding. Specifically, because it uses a per capita approach to Medicaid funding based on historical spending per person, ignoring unanticipated expenses, like the current opioid crisis.

CLAIM: The bill Provides new funding for opioid abuse, and opioid abuse is a rampant epidemic in our state.”

FACT: While the bill provides new funding, Senator Alexander ignores the billions in funding that could be lost because of the rest of the bill. Medicaid provides as much as 49% of the funding currently used for treatment in many states. The phase out of Medicaid Expansion coupled with $800 billion in future cuts to traditional Medicaid will be devastating. The bill also allows states to grant waivers for insurers avoid minimum essential benefits, including substance abuse treatment coverage, further eroding funding.

CLAIM: The bill “Provides new Medicaid funding for mental health to double the number of days of in-patient treatment.”

FACT: Again, new funds are allocated, but Senator Alexander ignores that Medicaid is the single largest payer for mental health services in the United States. An estimated 1.3 million Americans with serious mental health problems gained coverage for the first time under Medicaid Expansion. The senate bill phases out Medicaid Expansion and cuts billions from existing Medicaid funding. Mental health is also one of the ACA 10 Essential Benefits, which states will be able offer waivers for insurers to avoid covering.

“Senator Alexander needs to stop misleading Tennesseans about the Trumpcare bill. This bill will devastate millions of Tennessee families and both Senator Alexander and Senator Corker should put politics aside and vote against it,” said Mary Mancini, chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party.