(NASHVILLE, TN), January 27, 2010 — State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) announced today that he has filed legislation called the “Health Care Choice Act” in an effort to lower health insurance costs and provide more choices to Tennesseans. The legislation would allow Tennesseans to purchase health insurance plans from companies in other states with reciprocal agreements, a practice that is currently prohibited.
“Citizens want and deserve health care reform, but not the government-run health care that has been on the front burner in Washington,” said Senator Kelsey. “Tennesseans, not the federal government, should be in control of the decision regarding what health care plan best suits their needs and their pocketbooks. The legislation I am proposing dramatically expands choices for Tennessee consumers so that affordable options are available.”
Associated Press reporter Alan Fram reported on January 21, 2010 in an article entitled “Pelosi: House lacks votes to OK Senate health bill” that “In a bid for GOP support, participants suggested other elements could be added (to the federal health care bill). These included allowing insurance companies to sell policies across state lines, according to Rep. Timothy Walz, (D-Minn).” Kelsey said such a move would definitely give the proposal momentum.
The Health Care Choice Act will expand the number of health care plans available for purchase from 127 in Tennessee to potentially more than 5,000 plans nationwide. Several other states have introduced similar legislation. The bill introduced on the federal level allowing for an interstate compact to sell health insurance over state lines, however, has been put on the backburner due to the current health care overhaul measures pending in Congress.
“Expanding the availability of affordable health care plans and offering consumers more choices should be a key provision of any reform effort, at the state or federal level,” added Kelsey. “It helps to provide citizens choices instead of mandates regarding their health care insurance. With this legislation, Tennesseans will have more access to affordable health care insurance.”
“Hopefully, Congress will go back to the drawing board and include this plan at the national level. However, until then it’s time for state legislatures to weigh in on this national debate and take a stand against government-run health care. I look forward to having this discussion with my colleagues, so that we can work together to make health insurance more affordable for more Tennesseans,” he concluded.
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