Mass Incarceration

Medicaid expansion could boost state economy

Judy Roitman, from left, the Rev. Derrick Hammond and Matt Harris the recent League of Women Voters-sponsored forum on the need for Medicaid expansion in Tennessee. Roitman is executive director of the Tennessee Health Care Campaign. Hammond is an Oak Ridge City Council member and pastor of Oak Valley Baptist Church in Oak Ridge. Harris is a University of Tennessee professor who specializes in health care.

Bettering Tennesseans’ general well being would improve the state’s wealth.

That was one of many messages from panelists at a current discussion board sponsored by the League of Girls Voters of Oak Ridge and different organizations on the necessity for Medicaid expansion within the state. The discussion board was held at Oak Ridge Related Universities’ Pollard Auditorium. The panel members argued that increasing Medicaid in Tennessee for greater than 300,000 uninsured, low-income residents wouldn’t solely enhance their well being and skill to work and pay taxes, but additionally allow some closed rural hospitals to reopen, creating jobs, attracting companies and retirees to those areas and boosting the state’s financial system.

“Tennessee leads the nation in per capita hospital closures,” stated Judy Roitman, govt director of the Tennessee Well being Care Marketing campaign. She added that “22 out of 95 Tennessee counties don’t have a hospital and 19 counties don’t have an emergency division. Tennessee is tenth within the nation for medical debt.”

Judy Roitman, xecutive director of the Tennessee Health Care Campaign.

“There’s no credible financial motive to not develop Medicaid,” stated Matthew Harris, a College of Tennessee professor of economics with a specialty in well being care. An economist with the Boyd Middle for Enterprise and Financial Analysis within the Haslam School of Enterprise in Knoxville, he identified that whereas Tennessee is likely one of the High 10 states for financial development, it is usually one of many backside 10 states for well being.

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