Why Tennessee lawmakers must protect Medicare Advantage plan for its seniors

May 5, 2021

During my work in the Tennessee General Assembly as a member and now representing clients,  I have often worked across party lines.

It might be hard for many of us to remember a time without such political polarization.

However, I truly believe that most people in Tennessee actually agree more often than not—no matter what political affiliation.

Reliable and affordable health care for seniors is something all lawmakers can and should support. That’s why offering our seniors the choice between the traditional Medicare plan and one of the Medicare Advantage private health care plans is something elected representatives on both sides of the aisle should agree on.

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In Tennessee alone, more than 587,000 people have chosen to go with a Medicare Advantage plan to cover their health care needs, and there are millions more, in fact over 26 million, nationwide enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.

When I turned 65, I chose to go with a Medicare Advantage plan, so I understand why an overwhelming majority of seniors who use the program are satisfied with their coverage.

Even during the COVID-19 crisis, it’s provided me with low-cost, consistent, quality coverage. And by focusing on preventative care, which is a plus for both senior’s health and our wallets, Medicare Advantage is helping to keep our senior population healthier and reducing overall spending on health care for each of us individually and by our government.

Because this plan comes up for review every year at this time by the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, I hope that Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty and Congressman Jim Cooper understand just how many Tennesseans, Americans and constituents benefit from this program.

I hope all members of Congress stand up for Medicare Advantage which helps people like me.

Bill Nolan served as a Democrat State Rep from Oak Ridge, 1976-80, and is a longtime government affairs consultant.


Originally published in The Tennessean.