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TennCare Wasn’t Created to Save Money, It Was Created to Save Lives

Rep Bo Mitchell on the TennCare presentation boasting mostly of “SAVINGS” in our Medicaid program (very little about care) — meanwhile not expanding it leaves 350,000 Tennesseans uncovered.

 

Rep. Dixie on How GOP “Savings” Don’t Help Tennesseans

“I keep hearing a lot of numbers about cost-cutting, savings…we should be getting health care to all Tennesseans.” – Caucus Chair Vincent Dixie points out Medicaid “SAVINGS” the GOP brags about aren’t necessarily good when it means less care for Tennesseans. #NotABlockGrant

The State House passed this rushed “not-a-block-grant” bill 70-22, making Tennessee the only state to have one once Governor Lee signs it into law. TNGOP did this on a Friday to sneak it in before Biden takes office. Expect lawsuits.

 

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

HOLLER PODCAST – Brandon Thomas

Tennessee State House candidate Brandon Thomas joins us to discuss his race in one of the most flippable districts in the state. He is running a progressive campaign against Republican incumbent Mike Sparks who was recently asked by The Holler whether or not the Civil War was fought over slavery, to which he responded “I haven’t really studied it.” Brandon is running in State House District 49 (Smyrna, Murfreesboro, and La Vergne).

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

VIDEO: GOVERNOR LEE GRILLED 🔥🔥ON REFUSAL TO EXPAND MEDICAID

At his first Virus update presser of the week yesterday, Governor Lee was grilled repeatedly, first by Alex Apple of Fox Nashville, then by Phil Williams of News Channel 5, about his refusal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee.

Expanding Medicaid would bring $1 BILLION of our own tax dollars back to our state each year. Instead Lee is touting a new $10 MILLION grant to rural hospitals. Meanwhile we’re #1 in rural hospital closures per capita and medical bankruptcies.

Not expanding literally is policy murder.

Lee says he’s only concerned about virus victims right now, but the truth is there’s no moral reason to be less concerned about those suffering from other diseases who have just recently become unemployed through no fault of their own, and who now find themselves without insurance. There are only political reasons.

Read this new STUDY that lays out what a huge mistake Lee and the Tennessee GOP supermajority are making, and watch the video below:

VIDEO: Gov. Lee Defends Rejecting $1 BILLION/Year In Medicaid Funds

“How is rejecting $1 BILLION/year in Medicaid Expansion funds helping TN’s rural communities?”

TN is #1 in MEDICAL BANKRUPTCIES & HOSPITAL CLOSURES. Maternal mortality of a 3rd world country.

Gov. Lee says a BLOCK GRANT means MORE💰, but facts disagree.

INTERVIEW: State Senator Raumesh Akbari on Vouchers & Medicaid Expansion

State Senator Raumesh Akbari talks about why Governor Lee’s public school-harming vouchers shouldn’t be rushed, and why Tennessee needs to expand Medicaid.

Listen to the PODCAST HERE.

FULL INTERVIEW:

CLIP: State Sen. Akbari on $1 BILLION In Unspent Aid: “FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD” 

TN GOP Rep. Ryan Williams Says TN Maternal Mortality “LIKE A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY”

Watch Republican Rep. Ryan Williams tell TennCare officials Tennessee is “like a third world country” when it comes to maternal mortality, thereby making a great case for MEDICAID EXPANSION, which his own party continues to block.

TN is #1 in Medical Bankruptcies and rural hospital closures per capita as a result.

TN GOP Majority Leader Rep. Lamberth Makes The Case for Medicaid Expansion

Watch TN GOP majority leader Rep. William Lamberth express regret that some Tennesseans are getting divorced to stay under the level needed to maintain health insurance, unwittingly making the case for Medicaid expansion – and more importantly universal health care/Medicare for All.