Rep. Cameron Sexton’s Newsroom

TN Republicans To Cut Insurance Costs, Increase Access To Care With New Legislative Victory

October 26, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — Tennessee House Republicans scored a major healthcare victory for patients across the state with the announcement of the State Relief and Empowerment Waiver by the Trump Administration. The waiver will allow Tennessee to search for innovative solutions to address skyrocketing health insurance costs while signaling an opening to address the flaws in TennCare that have decreased access to care. 

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act by Democrats in 2010, the health insurance market has been faced with escalating insurance costs and premiums which have hurt Tennesseans. Consequences of the Affordable Care Act have led to a major shift in insurance networks and coverage where patients can no longer keep their doctor as promised by President Obama.

House Majority Leader Glen Casada (R-Thompson Station) addressed the announcement by the Trump Administration, saying: “The failures of ObamaCare have driven up costs and put government between the patient and doctor. Tennessee House Republicans have worked for solutions to protect pre-existing conditions, improve healthcare access, and decrease costs without placing taxpayers at risk. This waiver is a testament to that hard work and provides an opening for Tennessee to further implement fiscally sound healthcare policies that drive down costs.”

With the announcement of the State Relief and Empowerment Waiver, Tennessee has finally been given the authorization to implement solutions to drive down healthcare costs and improve access while protecting those with pre-existing conditions. In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) signaled they will also be releasing waiver concepts for Medicaid services to provide even more options for individual states to make their own decisions related to healthcare.

House Health Committee Chairman Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) explained, “Allowing the states to have more flexibility in addressing their healthcare issues is a significant step in the right direction. Finding solutions that promote a more transparent and competitive free-market that will empower patients and consumers will lower costs, increase quality, and improve access to valuable innovations like tele-medicine. I am hopeful the Trump Administration will next address the Medicare wage index disparity which is the top issue for our hospitals.”

The waiver outlines five principles for states to follow as they work to develop innovative new approaches to health care. These principles include providing increased access to affordable private market coverage, encouraging sustainable spending growth, fostering state innovation, supporting and empowering those in need, and promoting consumer-driven healthcare.

Representative Bryan Terry, MD (R-Murfreesboro) who serves as chairman of the House Health Subcommittee was very encouraged by the announcement: “While we’ve been working to decrease prescription drug costs, improve access, and protect patients, many common sense and workable solutions have been hindered by the Affordable Care Act or blocked by the federal level bureaucracy. With this waiver, we will have a greater opportunity to address cost and access problems while ensuring taxpayers are, also, protected.”

 Tennessee House Republicans, using conservative principles, have worked to stabilize the health insurance market in Tennessee and have pursued solutions to improve consumerism and remove barriers to the patient-physician relationship. The waiver will provide an opportunity not previously afforded the Tennessee General Assembly and House Republicans look forward to working with the new Governor, Senate, and patient advocates to improve health services and access in Tennessee.

“It’s important for voters to understand that the Democrat “solutions” of placing government between patients and their doctors have decreased access while driving up healthcare costs. By voting for and electing conservative Republicans, Tennessee will have the opportunity to empower patients and protect pre-existing conditions while improving health care choices and driving down costs,” concluded Casada.

Initiative Sponsored By Representative Cameron Sexton Promoting Responsible Wind Energy Production Passes

April 18, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — A recent measure sponsored by State Representative Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville)  and State Senator Paul Bailey (R-Sparta) that promotes responsible wind energy production in Tennessee has passed in the General Assembly.

House Bill 1731 / Senate Bill 1793 — the result of an extensive study conducted last year — establishes standards for wind energy facilities and gives authority over them to local governments. The measure considers and respects the rights of individual property owners and their neighbors. Approximately 30 states across our nation have adopted some type of regulations related to wind energy. House Bill 1731/Senate Bill 1793 mirrors those efforts and is designed to create a friendly, sensible environment for the production of wind energy in communities across Tennessee.

“This initiative promotes responsible wind energy production through state minimum standards. It enables local officials the authority and ability to oversee and strengthen the standards,” said Chairman Sexton. “I am pleased to have sponsored a measure that will encourage more of our communities across Tennessee to utilize this plentiful and renewable form of energy while taking into account the health, safety, and rights of our property owners and their neighbors.”

For more information about House Bill 1731/Senate Bill 1793 please click here.

Cameron Sexton serves as Chairman of the House Health Committee. He is also a member of the House Calendar & Rules and House Local Government Committees, as well as the House Health Subcommittee. Sexton lives in Crossville and represents House District 25, which includes Cumberland, Van Buren and part of Putnam County. He can be reached by email at Rep.Cameron.Sexton@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-2343.

State Representative Cameron Sexton To Serve On New Wellness Caucus

November 16, 2017

Panel tasked with improving health and well-being for Tennesseans

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) today announced that he will serve on a new Wellness Caucus created by members of the Tennessee General Assembly and in collaboration with the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness.

The caucus is chaired by State Representative Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville) and Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson). It consists of 37 members — including 28 Republicans — from both the House and Senate who will study and propose new solutions to important health and wellness issues in communities across the state.

While Tennessee is considered a healthcare hub for our entire nation, we still remain one of the least healthy states in the country. Thirty-three percent of the state’s population is classified as obese, and type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure are at near-epidemic levels in all regions of the state. In 2015 the impact of chronic diseases cost Tennesseans more than 5 billion dollars when factoring in direct medical care, lost productivity and premature death.

Caucus members will help shape future public policy so that Tennesseans impacted by some of these adverse health conditions are able to make lifestyle changes that will improve their health and overall quality of life.

“This opportunity will assist Tennessee General Assembly members in our efforts to better understand the factors that have led to some of the troubling wellness issues our residents have experienced in recent years,” said Representative Sexton. “Moving forward, I am hopeful we view physical and mental health as equals as we focus as a caucus on improving overall health trends, expanding preventative care options and seek better outcomes across our region and our state.”

For more information about the Governor’s Foundation for Health & Wellness, please visit http://healthierTN.com.

Cameron Sexton serves as Chairman of the House Health Committee. He is also a member of the House Calendar & Rules and House Local Government Committees, as well as the House Health Subcommittee. Sexton lives in Crossville and represents House District 25, which includes Cumberland, Van Buren and part of Putnam County. He can be reached by email at Rep.Cameron.Sexton@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-2343.

House Speaker Beth Harwell Works to Eliminate Opioid Abuse

January 27, 2017

Speaker Harwell Announces Task Force on Opioid Abuse

 

NASHVILLE – Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) this week created a task force on opioid and prescription drug abuse. The task force’s immediate goal will be to work on legislation, but its efforts will be ongoing to determine the best strategies for tackling the opioid epidemic. Tennessee is consistently ranked at the top of the charts nationally with regards to prescription drug abuse.

“This task force presents an opportunity to have a very serious conversation about opioid and prescription drug abuse in our state,” said Speaker Harwell. “The statistics are devastating: there are more opioid prescriptions than there are people in Tennessee. In 2015, 1,451 Tennesseans died from drug overdoses, the highest annual number in our state’s history. And the number of babies born who have been chronically exposed to opioids is high, particularly in East Tennessee. The Tennessee Department of Health reports that from 2000 to 2012, the rate of babies born with exposure increased 15 fold. We can, and should, do more to ensure this is not happening.”

She continued, “The Tennessee General Assembly has passed some legislation in the past targeting the problem, but I believe we also need to look toward solutions that include treatment and prevention measures. I believe this task force can be an asset as we work to address this issue in this session and in the future.”

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that prescription opioid abuse has a total economic burden of $78.5 billion per year in the United States. There is an estimated $7.7 billion criminal justice cost across the country.

 

Speaker Harwell appointed the following members to the task force:

Speaker Pro Tempore Curtis Johnson, R-Clarksville – Chair

Representative JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga

Representative Curtis Halford, R-Dyer

Representative Darren Jernigan, D-Old Hickory

Representative William Lamberth, R-Portland

Representative Dennis Powers, R-Jacksboro

Representative Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville

 

“I have asked the members of the task force to work toward legislation that can be filed this year, as well as working collaboratively with other members who have legislation on the topic. Working together, I am hoping we can create some comprehensive solutions to this epidemic,” concluded Speaker Harwell.

Future meeting times for the task force will be announced as they are scheduled.

 

###