Thursday, September 12, 2019

More Tennesseans are uninsured
A new study finds that 46,000 additional Tennesseans were without health insurance in 2018 as the state suffered one of the nation's largest increases in uninsured residents. The Census Bureau says Tennessee tied for the third-largest increase in the rate of uninsured residents for the first time since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. State lawmakers have for several years turned down $3.8 million a day that is available in federal funding for providing health insurance to 280,000 more Tennesseans. The Census Bureau estimates more than 675,000 Tennesseans — or about 10 percent — have no insurance coverage. The increase of uninsured is a nationwide shift that is reversing years of increases in access to health insurance. The bureau reports the number of Americans with no insurance rose for the first time since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The rising number of uninsured people is attributed to enrollment drops in state Medicaid programs, such as TennCare, impacting low-income families and children the most. The lack of insurance is putting pressure on hospitals in the state who have to absorb the cost of treating the uninsured or pass the cost on to those who have insurance. TennCare’s total enrollment dropped by more than 120,000 people since January 2017, while the number of uninsured was rising. Some politicians had suggested those on TennCare were leaving because they had found jobs and insurance, but Michelle Johnson, of the Tennessee Justice Center, says the new census numbers disprove the claim that families were leaving TennCare because they were obtaining private insurance. Johnson said officials in the state and federal government have "played politics" with Medicaid programs, resulting in "catastrophic" losses of coverage."

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Thursday, February 27, 2020

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