The health insurance industry, after cautiously watching Republican health care efforts for months, came out forcefully on Wednesday against the Senate’s latest bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, suggesting that its state-by-state block grants could create health care chaos in the short term and a Balkanized, uncertain insurance market.

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R. Neal's picture

I saw that one of the reasons

I saw that one of the reasons insurance companies don't like the bill is that block grants might help/encourage/enable states to set up their own single payer systems. So insurance ompany motves are suspect.

That wouldn't happen in Tennessee, of course. We would give the money to gun stores or lotto outlets or something. So citizens could protect themselves from drug addicts who can't get treatment and win enough lotto to pay their own damn medical bills.

This block grant money scheme is like giving car keys and whiskey to teenage boys. What could go wrong? (With apologies to PJ O'Rourke.)

Anyway, the opposition to this bill is overwheliming across the board, from Rand Paul (for the wrong reasons) to AARP.

So of course Corker and Alexander and Haslam are for it.

fischbobber's picture

Great point, and Hey, by the way,

Has anyone kept up with the state's stewardship of the Tobacco settlement money? As I recall, it was supposed to be dedicated to healthcare and health related issues of smokers. How's that working out?

bizgrrl's picture

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.... Would

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha....

Would you be willing to take on that task? Then, think that TN managing this block grant scheme for health insurance would be a million times harder to track.

barker's picture

Tobacco settlement

Here's a logical place to start:


fischbobber's picture

Yeah, but,

We're getting over 174 million dollars a year. Where is the other 169 million going? Haslam has mismanaged over a billion of this money since he's been in office.


barker's picture

Don't know

I don't know. Might want to ask a journalist. Oh yeah.
Or, if you really want to find out, do the research yourself. Not being a smart-aleck, but that's what the world has come to.

fischbobber's picture

Really. (With the old Starsky inflection.)

If I had the time, you can damn well bet that's what I would be doing, The bottom line is this. Those are Tennessee medical dollars. If you want to know what Haslam will do with block grants, look at what he's doing with them now. Then count on more of the same. I didn't find one dollar of the tobacco settlement actually going to a person suffering from a medical problem brought on by tobacco use. What's wrong with this picture? Why should we believe things will change if you give a corrupt state government more money to steal?

barker's picture


That is on reason we need to pay journalists - to find out stuff we don't have the time to find out ourselves.

jbr's picture

Trump and Rand Paul ....

... Trump now seems to be backing health insurance reforms pushed by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Paul, who opposed the Senate repeal bill, wants insurers to be allowed to sell policies across state lines and for people to be able to form groups to buy coverage.

Trump intends to sign executive order on health care next week

mjw's picture

Fine, go ahead

Any such plans will be subject to the same requirements as exchange (and employer) plans. Either these plans will work wonderfully, in which case they will provide real options to Obamacare enrollees, or they will fail spectacularly, in which case we won't have to hear over and over again about them anymore from Republicans (yeah, ok, so this is wishful thinking).

Actually, group/association plans might work if the groups can be made large enough or if they are included in the individual market risk pool. The state line thing is a total non-starter. No insurance company is going to build provider networks across state lines. The only true health care plan that can work across state lines is Medicare. Ooh, there's an idea!

B Harmon's picture

Mark Harmon: Defending

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