Yesterday’s News Channel 5 broadcast contained a powerful segment about the hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans stuck in the “coverage gap” thanks to the TN GOP’s refusal to expand medicaid, which has cost our state $6 Billion and counting and helped us lead the country in rural hospital closures per capita. Read more
Instead of accepting the billions of dollars we lose each year and simply expanding Medicaid like many other “red” states already have – and they don’t regret it – Tennessee Republicans want permission to impose a work reporting requirement on poor parents and caregivers who get coverage through Medicaid.
What would this mean?
A new study from Georgetown tells us this would mean 68,000 of our most vulnerable families lose coverage, mainly in rural areas, and THEIR KIDS WILL SUFFER THE MOST.
- In Arkansas 23 percent of affected adults lost their health insurance. If Tennessee has a similar outcome, approximately 68,000 parents will lose their Medicaid coverage.
- The new rules would predominantly affect Tennessee’s poorest mothers in small towns and rural communities.
- Even if these parents work more hours, they are unlikely to have an offer of health coverage from their employers.
- The loss of coverage for parents would affect their children, creating more financial hardship for families and risking children’s access to health care. Tennessee was one of nine states to see a significant increase in children lacking health coverage in 2017.
These families could find affordable health coverage from somewhere like IEHP instead, but if they are amongst the poorest families in Tennessee even this may not be possible. As yet another rural hospital closes in Clay County, there’s simply no excuse for not expanding Medicaid at this point.