NASHVILLE - The U.S. Supreme Court began hearings Monday about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.
Republican Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker said Friday he has "not met a thinking person on either side of the aisle who believes the law will work." But perhaps he hasn't met the Whaleys of Johnson City.
Kelly Whaley said without the Affordable Care Act, her family would have suffered greatly when her husband Scott's medical insurance had reached its cap – and 3-year-old son, Jackson, still requires 24-hour care.
"My insurance doesn't cover private-duty nursing. With my husband's insurance, if it wasn't for that, he would not have been able to go back on Scotty's insurance - therefore, we wouldn't have private-duty in the home. He has better insurance, which covers more of Jackson's medical issues. So we definitely benefited from that."
Last year, more than 737,000 Tennesseeans enrolled in Medicare received preventive services and annual wellness visits at no out-of-pocket cost. The state has also received $4.8 million dollars in grants to help create an Affordable Insurance Exchange.
Whaley says her family was uninsured for a short time before the health care law went into effect, and in that period, amassed more than $29,000 in medical bills.
"With the cost of all of my son's medical equipment and medications, and doctor visits, hospital stays - for a while, we were in the emergency room every three months - it's easy to max out insurance."
The Supreme Court hearings are a result of a lawsuit filed by 26 states claiming the health care bill is unconstitutional because it requires all Americans to obtain health insurance starting in 2014. Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina are the only southeastern states not part of the lawsuit.