Tennessee Medicaid block grant push gets backlash at hearing
By JONATHAN MATTISE
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee’s plan to become the first state to receive Medicaid funding in a lump sum has drawn overwhelming opposition and no praise during its first public hearing.
On Tuesday, health practitioners, advocates, parents and others worried aloud that the $7.9 billion block grant proposal could compromise coverage and care for Tennessee’s most vulnerable citizens.
Some contended the plan would be illegal. Many called for Tennessee to expand Medicaid.
Earlier Tuesday, Republican Gov. Bill Lee said he’s not concerned about the proposal’s legality. He contended current beneficiaries won’t risk losing benefits or being taken off eligibility rolls.
Public hearings will follow Wednesday in Knoxville and Thursday in Jackson. Officials say Memphis and Chattanooga hearings are being planned. Tennessee has a November deadline to submit its final proposal to the federal government.
(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)