Our campaigns center on creating a more just system for all Tennesseans. Our focus on health justice, racial justice, and food justice have led TJC to work with community organizers, grassroots volunteers, and policymakers to enact meaningful, lasting change. Our system change occurs through grassroots advocacy and legal battles in our state’s court system.
Under the Affordable Care Act, states were given the option to expand Medicaid. Tennessee is one of only 12 states in the country that have not expanded Medicaid to cover over 300,000 uninsured Tennesseans. With over 400 reports backing the critical role Medicaid expansion has played in reducing uninsured rates across the U.S., it is time for our state leaders to take action now to expand Medicaid to reduce the coverage gap and support rural health systems.
PROTECT THE ACA
The Affordable Care Act has sustained attack after attack from policymakers since its implementation nearly a decade ago. The ACA is an important part of the healthcare safety net on which many Tennesseans rely and includes multiple popular consumer protections like anti-discrimination rules pertaining to sexuality, pre-existing conditions, and more. Tennessee officials owe it to the millions of Tennesseans whose healthcare depends on the ACA, to end its involvement in attempts to eliminate the ACA.
STOP THE BLOCK GRANT
Tennessee is the first state to ask the federal government to convert its current Medicaid program (called “TennCare”) into a “block grant.” The block grant will hurt patients and be bad for our state by inviting discrimination against patients with costly medical conditions, doing away with federal checks and balances for the program, and creating incentives for officials to divest money from Tennessee’s healthcare system. Tennessee’s block grant proposal is in Washington pending CMS approval now. Our leaders should withdraw Tennessee’s block grant proposal to protect thousands of vulnerable Tennesseans’ access to healthcare.
The Black Health Matters initiative seeks to frame health as a racial justice issue and to educate about the long-standing systemic barriers to care and other social determinants of health as well as bias in the healthcare industry that create worse health outcomes for Black people. It is far past time we work deliberately to reverse the impacts of racism rooted in our nation’s history and continue to pursue greater health equity in our state.
GENERAL SESSIONS COURT WORK
The vast majority of people who are sued or evicted do not have a lawyer. They are unsure what they have to do or how to defend themselves in court. This puts them at a great disadvantage, because most of the time the person suing or evicting them does have a lawyer. This happens particularly often when debt collectors sue people who owe money for things like car loans and medical bills. We are working to make the court more accessible to all.
Every day we are inspired by our clients and the people of this state who are fighting for themselves and their neighbors to live with dignity and opportunity. The real stories of the people we work with make a difference and remind everyone that they are not alone in their daily hurdles. This beautiful choir of Tennessee voices is what makes Music City’s home state so incredible.