One Billion Dollars

As H.R. 3200 plods it’s way through Congress, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce has emerged as a stumbling block.

The opposition, led by Democratic Representative Mike Ross (AR-04), centers around Medicare payments to rural communities and the assurance that the measure will be deficit neutral. Ross is a member of the Blue Dogs, who as a group have come out against the “public option”, a program that would help individuals and businesses afford healthcare, and provide competition for companies that are currently the single most responsible parties in the massive increase in the cost of healthcare. I wrote briefly about this several weeks ago.

One of the tools that has emerged in the course of the debate is a district by district analysis of the impact the legislation would have to their constituents. Unfortunately, the link for TN-03 is dead, so a complete analysis on this legislation’s impact in Tennessee cannot be done at this time, but just with the numbers from the other 8 districts the results are pretty startling.

Under the bill in it’s current state 100,000+ businesses in Tennessee, large and small would be eligible for a tax credit for providing their employees with healthcare. Healthcare would be less expensive, allowing for either better coverage, or additional employees.

68,000+ seniors in Tennessee would avoid the donut hole in Medicare, eliminating the choice between medicine and food.

678,000+ individuals in Tennessee would gain access to affordable healthcare, increasing productivity and quality of life.

Here’s the kicker, nearly $1,000,000,000 a year in uncompensated care, that’s services that are rendered, but not paid for, would be covered throughout the state.

ONE BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR

How many new clinics will that open? How many doctors and nurses will that employ? How much additional access will that create?

ONE BILLION DOLLARS IN ANNUAL LOSSES WIPED OFF THE BOOKS.

By any measure, that’s a lot of money. Think about all the construction workers, and electricians, and plumber that will get put to work building the infrastructure to support these new doctors and nurses. Think about the additional access in rural communities, where the nearest clinic can be up to 30 minutes away. Think about it!

What about all the income that money will generate? Those doctors and nurses will be making and spending money in the state. If half of that money is spent in Tennessee every year by new doctors and nurses buying regular goods and services, that’s another $46,000,000 in sales tax collections alone.

You can’t tell me that this isn’t a financial positive. You just can’t.

What about employers and individuals? By implementing this bill the annual cost of healthcare will drop. By how much is still not known, but the single largest driver of healthcare inflation is not lawsuits, but the insurance industry’s need to create ever-increasing profit margins and the current state of the uncompensated care that this bill would cover.

For all you folks out there in rural Tennessee, take a look at this analysis of what HR 3200 will do for healthcare in rural America. Think of how this will benefit your community. Think of how it levels the playing field between rural America and the urban centers that so many are forced to travel to for healthcare delivery.

Folks, this needs to happen. Call your Representative and Senators today and ask them to support HR 3200.

Tennessee Representatives

Representative Phil Roe (R – 01) – Ph. 202-225-6356 Fax. 202-225-5714email

Representative John J. Duncan, Jr. (R – 02) – Ph. 202-225-5435 Fax. 202-225-6440 email

Representative Zach Wamp (R – 03) – Ph. 202-225-3271 Fax. 202-225-3494email

Representative Lincoln Davis (D – 04) – Ph. 202-225-6831 Fax. 202-226-5172 email

Representative Jim Cooper (D – 05) – Ph. 202-225-4311 Fax. 202-226-1035 email

Representative Bart Gordon (D – 06) – Ph. 202-225-4231 Fax. 202-225-6887email

Representative Marsha Blackburn (R – 07) – Ph. 202-225-2811 Fax. 202-225-3004 email

Representative John Tanner (D – 08) – Ph. 202-225-4714 Fax. 202-225-1765 email

Representative Steve Cohen (D – 09) – Ph. 202-225-3265 Fax. 202-225-5663 email

Tennessee Senators

Senator Lamar Alexander (R- TN) – Ph. 202-224-4944 Fax. 202-228-3398 email

Senator Bob Corker (R- TN) – Ph. 202-224-3344 Fax. 202-228-0566 email

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