Rep. Clemmons Slams TNGOP’s Rushed “Not-A-Block” Program

“We’re blowing up a system that is working in the middle of a pandemic…or we could EXPAND MEDICAID and start realizing BILLIONS without reinventing the wheel.” – Rep. John Ray Clemmons on the TNGOP’s rushed, probably illegal not-a-block-grant program. The bill passed the State House. #ExpandMedicaid

 

TN’S MEDICAID BLOCK GRANT: A CAP IS A CUT

TN’S MEDICAID BLOCK GRANT: A CAP IS A CUT

by Kristen Grimm

In the waning days of the Trump administration they have just now approved Tennessee’s request to turn our Medicaid funding into a Block Grant, putting the health care of our neediest citizens into the hands of Governor Lee and the TN GOP. Lee and the GOP in our state have shown us in recent years they are comfortable with human suffering by refusing to expand Medicaid, rejecting $1 Billion yearly in health care funding, and we’ve seen them sit on over $700 million in TANF funds, so putting this giant sum of money into their hands with fewer strings attached is entirely unjustified and unwise.

A block grant would be a cap in federal funding to Medicaid. And let me be clear: A cap is a cut. The idea that the block grant approval will expand coverage is politically deceitful and sinister.

During the Trump administration’s attempt to cut Medicaid and repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2017, they also tried to pass block grants to drastically cut funding to Medicaid.

Healthcare advocacy organizations and people like myself fought hard to protect this nation’s Children’s Hospitals and Medicaid recipients from suffering the potentially catastrophic consequences of capping the federal funding structures to Medicaid.

Block grants were so dangerous to children’s hospitals, the Children’s Hospital Association publicly came out against block granting our federal Medicaid program.

At the time of the cuts, 54% of impatient revenues for all our nation’s children’s hospitals were paid for by Medicaid and 63% of all our nation’s emergency department revenues were paid for by Medicaid.

What we see here was a measure that is so dangerous that the Children’s Hospital Association had to fight against it because every children’s hospital in this nation was at risk of being catastrophically harmed. When there is a capped concrete ceiling for federal Medicaid funding there’s absolutely no way you can expand services in a boxed measure of fiscal containment.

Block grants being proposed by the Trump administration were one of the cruelest measures that they have tried to invoke upon our nation’s federal departments.

This shows us the nature of Governor Lee and the Trump administration’s immorality that they would mess with children’s hospitals. But this is what the Republican leaders are doing. They are not only putting our children’s hospitals at risk, but they are also harming the elderly and vulnerable people all across this state. Thankfully it looks like the Biden administration will be able to reverse this measure before TN has time to do any harm to the most vulnerable in our state.

Kristen M. Grimm
Medicaid and Medicare Advocate
Founder and President
Mothers for Medicare for All

“I’m Heartbroken for Future Families”

“I’m so heartbroken for future families that are going to be in my family’s shoes as a result” of Gov. Bill Lee not enacting a mask mandate.

State Representative Gloria Johnson relays the thoughts of a Tennessee teacher whose husband is in critical care and whose brother in law just died of COVID, both of whom are/were also teachers.

“If I’m Going to be the Keeper of my Brother, I have to Wear my Mask.”

Rep. Vincent Dixie talks about how Gov. Bill Lee’s “survival of the fittest” tactic has landed Tennessee in the position of being the worst place in the world to be for #COVID19.

 

A Tale of Two Governors

State Representative Gloria Johnson talks with Christina Henry, a teacher in Anderson County, Tennessee whose husband is in critical care for COVID in Kentucky, and whose brother-in-law recently passed away from COVID, also both teachers. Tennessee is now the worst place in the world to be for COVID19 under the poor leadership of Governor Bill Lee. Christina and Representative Johnson talk about how the different responses between Governor Andy Beshear of Kentucky and our own Governor Lee have affected the health outcomes of the residents of each respective state.

Kentucky is the only state where ICU occupancy is lower now than three months ago

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts, and wherever else you like to listen.

Bill Lee Blames Everyone But Himself

Phil Williams:  “Why not listen to health professionals and impose a mask mandate?”

Governor Bill Lee: “That’s not a unified voice. There’s a lot of argument about what’s the right tactic.”

Lee is still a deaf ear to the cries of Tennessee’s medical community despite our horrific numbers.

 

Protecting the Knox County Board of Health

Knox County Commissioner Courtney Durrett joins to talk with Representative Gloria Johnson about an insidious effort to effectively dissolve the Knox County Board of Health and create a new “advisory” board of brand new members who don’t have the experience dealing with the COVID19 crisis that the current members have. The first meeting for this ordinance will be held Monday, December 21.

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts, and wherever else you like to listen.

Where is Your Responsibility, Governor Lee?

“Governor Bill Lee, you’ve said time and time again that the only way to manage this crisis is through personal responsibility, but we ask you, Sir – WHERE IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY IN THIS MATTER?”

Dr. Martin of Protect My Care reams Governor Lee for his botched handling of #COVID19.

 

The Science Behind the Coronavirus Vaccine

Dr. John Palisano, former Professor at the University of the South, joins again to talk about the Coronavirus and why it has proven to be so deadly, but also about the amazing science and technology that will bring us vaccines in the next few weeks.  How do vaccines work and why it is so important to get one? Effective and safe – welcome back science, we missed you!

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts here, and wherever else you like to listen here.