Reported By Tracee Tolentino, Reporter - bio | email
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday will decide whether to uphold President Barack Obama's signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act, passed by Congress in 2010.
Since 2010, the health care law has done away with monetary lifetime caps, allowed young adults to stay on their parents insurance until the age of 26 and granted children with pre-existing health conditions insurance.
If the ruling is upheld, it would soon be easier for more Tennesseans to get TennCare, the state's Medicaid program.
"It's going to be the biggest expansion of affordable health care coverage to Tennesseans since the enactment of Medicaid and Medicare," Brad Palmertree with the Tennessee Health Care Campaign told Nashville's News 2.
The Tennessee Health Care Campaign estimates that currently nearly one million Tennesseans are without health care. However, if the law is ruled constitutional, nearly 700,000 more would be eligible for health care in 2014.
Of that 700,000, nearly 400,000 would be eligible for TennCare and 300,000 would be eligible for the new insurance marketplace.
Governor Bill Haslam told Nashville's News 2 that the state has been working to create the insurance marketplace but hopes it doesn't come to that.
"We've begun the process of putting together the initial stages of putting the exchange together which is our primary responsibility. If they don't strike it [Obama's health care plan] down we're on that path. Obviously, I'm hoping that they do because I think it saves the state long term," he said.
Governor Haslam and former Governor Phil Bredesen have both been opposed to part of the president's health care plan because they estimate it would add $200 million a year to the TennCare program.