Tennessee Is a Guinea Pig for Frightening New Medicaid Experiments

If Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has his way, the state may be the first in the nation to radically alter the way Medicaid is funded and administered, potentially leaving hundreds of Tennessee’s most vulnerable residents un- and underinsured.

Lee has proposed the conversion of federal funding for Tennessee’s Medicaid program, TennCare, to a block grant of $7.9 billion, adjusted each year for inflation. Any money saved would be split between the state and the federal government. Currently, 1.4 million or about one in five Tennesseans are enrolled in the program.

The block grant proposal follows Tennessee’s most recent decision last fall not to adopt the Medicaid expansion offered through the Affordable Care Act. Despite support from then-Governor Bill Haslam, the state’s Republican legislature chose not to adopt the plan, leaving 380,000 uninsured adults whom the expansion would have covered. View full article.