Press release, April 4, 2016, NASHVILLE – The Tennessee House of Representatives passed a landmark healthcare reform tonight. After passing the House by a vote of 82-5, the Health Care Empowerment Act now goes to the governor to be signed into law. It recently passed the Senate unanimously.
The bill preserves the practice of Direct Primary Care in Tennessee, and it represents one of the Beacon Center’s top policy priorities for this legislative session. Doctors across the nation have moved to the direct care model, whereby patients pay a small monthly fee in exchange for routine healthcare services, as well as discounts on specialty services.
While Direct Primary Care has become very popular among patients and doctors alike, some insurance regulators have tried to intervene and treat direct care agreements as insurance policies. This adds burdensome and expensive red tape, making it practically impossible for the Direct Primary Care model to succeed. The Health Care Empowerment Act prohibits the government from treating Direct Primary Care as insurance.
“The Beacon Center is proud to be on the side of doctors and patients across the state of Tennessee. We would like to applaud the legislature for embracing healthcare freedom with the passage of the Health Care Empowerment Act,” said Beacon Director of Policy Lindsay Boyd. “We especially thank Sen. Kerry Roberts and Rep. Sabi Kumar for their leadership to protect the rights of Tennessee patients to obtain quality access to affordable healthcare.”
Boyd concluded, “Top-down federal control of our healthcare decisions has become a disaster. We must change course, putting patients in charge of their own healthcare destiny. We believe Tennesseans deserve care, not just coverage, and Direct Primary Care is yet another example of that.”
Beacon has led the charge to promote meaningful reforms that expand healthcare options for Tennesseans, rather than mere insurance coverage. While it remains important for Tennesseans to obtain health insurance, many cannot afford insurance, and for those who can, they often still pay significant out of pocket costs. Direct Primary Care provides these patients with much greater access to care, often for as little as $30 per month.
To learn more about how Direct Primary Care is benefiting Tennesseans, watch Beacon’s video below.