PNS Daily Newscast - June 5, 2020 

It will likely take donations to help the Twin Cities recover from damage by looters; and state and local governments look for relief in next stimulus bill.

2020Talks - June 5, 2020 

Democrats and Republicans have had drastically different responses to President Trump's militarized response to protests in the nation's capital. And, new electoral maps will be drawn next year, some by legislatures and others by outside entities.

Latest TN Health Care Challenges

March 24, 2008

Nashville, TN – Thousands of Tennesseans are getting left behind when it comes to health insurance, according to health reform advocates. Some people have been waiting three years for the state to make good on its promise to re-open the so-called "spend down" system whereby people can access Medicaid insurance when medical bills outstrip income.

Other Tennesseans now using Medicaid coverage are waiting to hear whether they get to keep the health plan, as new guidelines go into effect. One Tennessean in six is uninsured.

More and more families are falling into the insurance gap as the economy slows. Tony Garr, executive director of the Tennessee Health Care Campaign, says it's time for the state to open up the system again with more realistic guidelines.

"Here we are, almost three years later, and it will not be open for new applicants until the fall of this year at the earliest."

Tennesseans currently eligible for Medicaid insurance may not be for long. Garr says the state has set new, stiffer guidelines and is re-evaluating cases. He says most people will be dropped from coverage--changes state leaders say have to be made to meet budgets.

Garr says that when people don't have coverage, they depend on emergency rooms, and that translates into higher prices and insurance premiums for everyone else as costs are absorbed. He says it's a cost spiral the state can stop.

"Our state has chosen this path, and they can change this path. They can start enrolling people who have been terminated from this program."

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - TN