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Thousands of TennCare Enrollees Face Loss of Coverage

June 15, 2009

Nashville, TN - As the State Legislature finalizes its budget this week, tens of thousands of seriously-ill, low-income TennCare enrollees are facing loss of coverage.

Tony Garr, executive director of the Tennessee Health Care Campaign, says those affected are among the poorest and sickest of the state's residents.

"We're looking at the elimination of coverage for 133 thousand-plus people. This applies to people who have HIV, people with hemophilia, anyone with a real chronic illness."

The state, Garr says, by eliminating enrollees, is turning its back on federal funding offered to multiply state dollars spent on TennCare cases.

"For every dollar we spend, we can get three federal dollars, so for eight million dollars or so, we can provide coverage to 8,000 people."

Of those facing loss of coverage, 15,000 are children under the age of 19.

Dan Gordon, Public News Service - TN