Advocates for Families in Need
211 7th Avenue N, Ste. 100
Nashville, TN 37219
Phone: (615)255-0331 Fax: (615)255-0354
For Immediate Release
Contact: Michele Johnson
Michele Johnson, Executive Director of the Tennessee Justice Center, said the following in regard to the passage of SB1428/HB1280 , the respective bills to convert federal TennCare funding into a block grant:
Tonight the Senate passed a dangerous bill which will result in cuts to TennCare, will hurt the economy, and will damage TN’s healthcare infrastructure. We are the only state in the nation to voluntary take this irresponsible step. A TennCare block grant will mean that state taxpayers are forced to pay more to fund a program that will provide less coverage to the state’s most vulnerable residents. With less federal funding, the state will have to cut services to those with the most expensive healthcare needs – critically ill children, frail seniors, and people with pre-existing conditions.
TennCare is a $12 billion program, and 20 cents of every dollar spent in the TN state budget is federal Medicaid funding. This is too important to be rushed. Decisions about drastically changing the funding structure of TennCare need to be carefully considered, but this bill does the opposite by setting a deadline for the Governor to submit the block grant proposal to the federal government. We hope that the Governor rejects this bill, and instead focuses on coming up with solutions to the real-life problems that Tennessee families face through his Healthcare Modernization Task Force.