More than 30 Tennessee healthcare, business and community organizations convened in Nashville on July 17th at Ascension Health to get updates on recent Medicaid expansion campaigns in other states and to strategize about ways to be successful in achieving Medicaid expansion in Tennessee in 2019.
The American Heart Association co-convened the meeting along with American Cancer Society - Cancer Action Network, Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee, Ascension Health Tennessee, Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug & other Addiction Services, Tennessee Disability Coalition, Tennessee Health Care Campaign, and Tennessee Justice Center.
Organizations in attendance reviewed Tennessee-specific data about why Medicaid expansion is needed, and shared activities already underway to advocate for expansion. As seen in other states, a key component of a successful campaign is through personal impact stories of individuals in the coverage gap who do not qualify for Medicaid or are employed in low-wage jobs where they are not offered or cannot afford health insurance. In Tennessee, the estimated number of people in the coverage gap is about 300,000. According to statistics from the TennCare Bureau, more than half are working, primarily in food service, construction, cleaning and maintenance, sales or transportation.
Do you have a personal story to share or know of someone in Tennessee who is impacted by the coverage gap? We want to hear from you! Please submit to [email protected].