This Year’s Excuse to Not Expand Medicaid: Block Grants

Block Grants Would Cut, Not Increase Medicaid Funding

Sandra Rice, a retired nurse practitioner and volunteer in a rural free clinic, released the following statement in response to the State Senate passing Medicaid Block Grant Legislation (House Bill 1280 / Senate Bill 1428):

“The Tennessee State Legislature still refuses to expand Medicaid, resulting in the loss of billions of dollars and leaving thousands of Tennesseans unable to afford health care. Since the citizens of Tennessee are not allowed to have a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid, expansion is solely in the hands of our legislators and governor.

However, their excuses to not expand Medicaid are numerous year after year — this year’s excuse is block grants.  

“As a retired family nurse practitioner, I volunteer weekly in a rural free clinic for the uninsured. My patients, after decades and generations of inconsistent care, struggle to reach Medicare age, often 10-30 years away. I am not confident they will make it.

Other Governors, seeing the cuts they would have to make, reject block grants. I hope our State Legislature and Governor Bill Lee will do the right thing and reject block grants as well. Tennesseans are counting on those in power to expand Medicaid, not make cuts to a program that provides a lifeline to so many of our fellow Tennesseans.”