Tennesseans voice concerns over House Republican healthcare plan - WSMV News 4

Tennesseans voice concerns over House Republican healthcare plan

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Just one day after Capitol Hill's scorekeeper released its report on an Obamacare replacement plan, the healthcare battles intensifies.

A projected 24 million more people stand to lose insurance by 2026, and that includes Tennesseans.

Some Tennesseans are voicing their concerns Tuesday on the proposed American Health Care Act, the Republican-backed plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.

"I did not vote for Obama, and it wasn't until the Affordable Care Act was law that I realized what a mercy it was to our son," said Kristen Grimm, who lives in Williamson County.

Grimm has a son with medical disabilities, and she thinks the House rushed into its current plan.

"It's always better to do something slower and to get it right," Grimm said.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report Monday analyzing the plan. The CBO said the plan would make cuts to Medicaid, tax credits and other federal spending while saving $337 billion. But it could affect small business workers like Mike Kukler who weren't initially covered and couldn't afford insurance.

"Without that tax credit, my rates will probably double, at least double," said Kukler, who wasn't covered by insurance until the ACA became law.

The report said 14 million people would be uninsured by next year, and that number mostly includes people who would opt out for various reasons. But in later years, the uninsured numbers would increase from Medicaid cuts.

Healthcare officials said the cuts to federal help would be staggering for Tennessee.

"We have 230,000 Tennesseans that are covered under the exchanges," said Craig Becker, president and CEO of Tennessee Hospital Association.

THA came out against the current Republican plan, saying it could force small and rural hospitals to possibly shut down.

"We've got several that are very stressed, 48 of our rural hospitals are already showing loss," said Becker who added that one West Tennessee hospital has already shut its doors due to lack of federal funding and infrastructure problems.

Republican leaders and the White House defended the plan.

"He's proud of it, he's proud of the impact it's going to have on American patients," said Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, of President Donald Trump.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said their plan saves the government billions and lower premiums over time.

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