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Special Session Would Give TN Legislature Chance to Re-imagine Health Care

Jul 1, 2020 by AFP

Lawmakers should make COVID-related health care reforms permanent.

NASHVILLE, TN – Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee (AFP-TN) today commended Governor Lee for extending reforms to expand health care access under Executive Order 50. The grassroots group urged lawmakers to take up telemedicine and certificate of need reforms when a special session is called to address COVID liability protections for businesses, schools, and health care providers.

AFP-TN has been at the forefront of advocating to expand telemedicine and lift the state’s burdensome certificate-of-need restrictions. The grassroots group has run statewide digital ads and mailers urging Tennesseans to contact their lawmakers in support of these reforms.

AFP-TN State Director Tori Venable issued the following statement:

“We applaud Governor Lee for extending health care reforms that increase access to critical health care services Tennesseans need. It’s imperative that the legislature act on telemedicine and certificate of need restrictions in addition to the COVID liability legislation. These reforms are helping our state now, in a time of crisis, and will continue to deliver more quality, affordable health care for Tennesseans in the future. We are calling on the legislature to put their differences aside during the special session and finally get government out of the way from providing these tested and trusted reforms.”

Background:

AFP TN Blog | Tennessee is considering two essential health care reforms designed to offer patients better care

poll conducted in March by YouGov and AFP found that 83% of Americans want health care professionals to have more flexibility in providing health care as they and their patients see fit. View the survey questions here.

The poll also found that after respondents were presented with information about emergency measures, Americans support changes to our health care system that grant medical professionals greater flexibility in providing care and responding to COVID-19. Click here to view the full results.

  • 58% Of Americans agree health care rules and regulations previously prevented doctors, nurses, and medical professionals from helping people.
  • 83% Of Americans agree America’s health care professionals should have more flexibility to provide health care as they and their patients see fit.
  • 78% Of Americans support relaxing health care restrictions to give more flexibility to doctors, nurses, and researchers who are fighting coronavirus.

AFP has identified four immediate policy priorities that need fast action to ensure patients continue to get access to the care they need: (1) Making telehealth an option for all Americans and removing occupational licensing and scope of practice restrictions that prevent doctors and nurses from seeing patients; (2) making permanent the recent moves by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that enable rapid deployment of testing, treatment, and prevention; (3) letting patients access promising experimental treatments that have already been proven safe; and (4) empaneling a BRAC-style commission to make additional reforms that remove similar restrictions to further strengthen America’s health care system.