By: Natalie Allison
Flown in to Nashville Thursday from Washington, D.C., the panelists on stage at Vanderbilt’s John Seigenthaler Center could offer statistics, economic projections and examples to support the benefit of states adopting Medicaid expansion. Roughly 300,000 uninsured adults in Tennessee — tens of thousands of whom are veterans — could be covered under TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program.
Andy Schneider, a researcher at the Georgetown Center for Children and Families who served as an adviser to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services during Barack Obama’s presidency, acknowledged that there are other factors at play in rural hospital closures, but broader coverage of Medicaid for residents in those areas would help. “Medicaid expansion is not going to solve every single problem in the state of Tennessee,” Schneider said. “It will not keep every rural hospital open. But it will make a huge difference.”
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