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Congressman John Duncan

Representing the 2nd District of Tennessee

Health Care Options Act Introduced in the House

April 5, 2017
Press Release

Health Care Options Act Introduced in the House

April 5, 2017


CONTACT: Don Walker 

(202) 225-5435


Today, Congressman John J. Duncan Jr. introduced with Rep. Phil Roe, MD., the Health Care Options Act of 2017.  Duncan and Roe were joined by Tennessee colleagues Reps. DesJarlais, Kustoff, Fleischmann, Blackburn and Black.  The Senate companion Health Care Options Act of 2017 was introduced late last week by Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker.

“When Obamacare fails in Knoxville as predicted by CNN yesterday, this bill will help affected Tennesseans buy any insurance plan approved by the state and will prevent them from being assessed the Obamacare individual mandate penalty for not purchasing insurance,” said Rep. Duncan.

“In the 1st Congressional District, next year there will be four counties with zero options for health insurance. That’s why doing nothing on health care is not an option. With so many insurers pulling out of exchanges, I am proud to join in introducing the Health Care Options Act, which will allow individuals in these counties to use their subsidies to purchase a state-approved health care plan and protect them from individual mandate penalties. My top priority in Congress will continue to be replacing Obamacare with patient-centered health reforms,” said Rep. Roe.

This year, 32 percent of U.S. counties had only one insurer offering plans on the Affordable Care Act Marketplace Exchange.  In Congressman Duncan’s District, tens of thousands of Tennesseans in the Knoxville area will have no options on the Exchange next year because the area’s last insurer Humana announced it would be pulling out, just as BlueCross BlueShield and United Health had to.  Tennessee’s ACA co-op Community Health Alliance, based in Knoxville, failed in 2015.

The Health Care Options Act will permit affected Americans to use their subsidy to buy any insurance plan approved by their state.  It will also eliminate the Affordable Care Act requirement that those who have no insurance options have to pay a penalty for not purchasing insurance.

“Obamacare must be repealed and replaced as soon as possible.  Many constituents in my District and others throughout the Nation are forced into a failing system.  We need to do all we can to help them as quickly as possible,” Rep. Duncan said.