Pre-Existing Condition Protection May Soon Disappear

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Soon, pre-existing conditions may disqualify a member of your family from getting health care.  Again!  Since 2014, insurance companies haven’t been able to deny coverage due to a prior medical condition. 

But with Governor Haslam’s blessing, the Tennessee Attorney General has partnered with other Republican Attorneys General and the Trump Administration to take away this protection.  

Some examples may include pregnancy, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, coronary artery disease, migraine, cancer, Alzheimer’s, stroke, sleep apnea, mental health disorders, kidney or liver disease, fibromyalgia and arthritis. 

Individuals with these conditions would at least get charged a higher premium but could also have benefits carved out or be denied coverage altogether. 

What will the loss of pre-existing protections mean to Tennesseans? 

Currently, about one in five Tennessee adults (ages 18-64) are without health insurance.   

Of those with insurance, many have employer-sponsored health care.  But many do have individual policies and they are at risk. 

According to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 30 percent of non-elderly adults in the Knoxville area and 30 percent in the Memphis area have a declinable pre-existing condition.  In Kingsport-Bristol, it’s over 40 percent. 

Tennessee leads the nation in bankruptcies, and most bankruptcies are due to medical bills. 

When Governor Haslam was interviewed on NPR about this, he said: 

“Any time you take away any kind of benefit, that is politically tricky at best if not a real death wish politically.” 

What Haslam misses is that for most developed nations on earth, this isn't a "benefit", it's a human right.  

His comment shows how much power and influence the private insurance financial interests have purchased in the legislature. 

But if more Tennesseans are denied coverage, the demand for universal health care will get even stronger.    

Matthew Hine, M.D.


Joda Thongnopnua Is The Best Candidate For House District 30

When voters in Tennessee’s House District 30 head to the polls on Nov. 6, I encourage them to vote for their best interests by voting for Joda Thongnopnua.  I know I will be.   Though I have a history of voting down the right side of the ballot, I don’t care much for party politics — never have, never will. What I try to invest in, politically speaking, lies ... (click for more)

Blessed Inclusion

The Pride Festival at Ross's Landing was an amazing event. Many thanks to everyone involved.   The Pride Mass at Grace Episcopal Church was also superb. Many thanks to Rev. April Berends and her staff. The Scripture Readings, Hymns and the Homily were all centered around inclusion. It was assuring to hear that all of us in the LGBTQ community are God's children. God ... (click for more)

City Placing New Penalties On Use Of Cell Phones In School Zone And By Drivers Under 18

The city is setting new penalties for use of cell phones in school zones.  Drivers 18 and older may not use hand-held devices while in the zones, but they can be on their hands-free units. Another section of an ordinance change would not allow those 18 and under to be talking on a cell phone while driving. That includes even if the device is hands-free. The ordinance ... (click for more)

Woman Who Stole Almost $2 Million From Lookout Mountain Art Dealer To Plead Guilty To Federal Bank Fraud

A bookkeeper for Lookout Mountain art dealer Frank Fowler who stole almost $2 million from him is now facing federal bank fraud charges. Authorities said Francine Labbe has agreed to plead guilty in the case. Prosecutor said Ms. Labbe embezzled $1,954,083. With interest, the amount owed to Mr. Fowler was over $2 million. Mr. Fowler was able to get the return of a number ... (click for more)

Vols Take First SEC Win Of The Season On The Road At #21 Auburn

Tennessee outscored No. 21/21 Auburn 17-7 in the final two quarters of Saturday's game to earn its first road and SEC win of the season at Jordan-Hare Stadium. "We beat a really good football team today," head coach Jeremy Pruitt said. "It's like I told them in there, if we learn to execute and raise our level of fight, we've got a chance to have a really good football ... (click for more)

Mocs Take Road Win At Western Carolina, 26-6

The Chattanooga Mocs shut down Western Carolina’s vibrant offensive attack in a 26-6 triumph in Whitmire Stadium Saturday afternoon. The Catamounts had not scored less than 28 points in a game all season. The Mocs had not allowed more than 24 in regulation. Something had to give. It was not the UTC defense as it held its hosts nearly 30 points (29.8) below their season average. ... (click for more)