"A Tennessee bill that would cut welfare benefits of parents with children performing poorly in school cleared committees of both the House and Senate last week."
Twice a year, Tennessee holds a “health care lottery” that gives some hope to the uninsured residents in the state who can’t afford health coverage. Tennesseans who meet certain requirements — in addition to falling below a certain income threshold, they must be elderly, blind, disabled, or a caretaker of a child who qualifies for Medicaid — may call to request an application for the state’s public health insurance program, known as TennCare.I despair of our ever having a truly effective safety net.
State residents who have high medical bills but would not normally qualify for Medicaid, the government health care program for the poor, can call a state phone line and request an application. But the window is tight — the line shuts down after 2,500 calls, typically within an hour — and the demand is so high that it is difficult to get through. [...]
If Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslan (R) opted to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, more than 180,000 people would be able to be added to the TennCare rolls by 2019... Haslan has not yet decided whether Tennessee will accept Obamacare’s optional expansion of the Medicaid program, although he has indicated that he may make his decision sometime this week [week of 25 March 2013].
Also, it must be nice to have the luxury of time to decide if 180,000 people who need healthcare can get it. Uh-oh, Governor, your privilege is showing!