Report: 9% of Tennesseans have no health insurance

The number of Tennessee residents without health insurance has dropped to just 9 percent, even though the state has rejected Medicaid expansion, reports WPLN. Tennessee was near 15 percent amid the recession and prior to Obamacare’s implementation.

The Census Bureau put out a state-by-state breakdown this week. Massachusetts has the fewest uninsured, at 2.5 percent. Texas, by far, has the most: 16.6 percent.

The state’s uninsured rate is roughly on par with the national average of 8.8 percent and is even below some states that have expanded Medicaid, like Arizona and Nevada.

But Tennessee Democrats would rather make a comparison with neighboring Kentucky. That state’s Democratic governor expanded Medicaid. And despite starting where Tennessee was, just 5 percent of its residents now lack health insurance.

Note: The Census Bureau report is HERE. And here’s a press release sent out Wednesday by the Tennessee Democratic Party:

Tennessee (September 13, 2017) –  The US census released new data today on the rates of uninsured Americans. The results show record low numbers of people without insurance.
The report shows a state by state comparison revealing the impact of states choosing to expand Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act or not. In Kentucky, the uninsured rate dropped from 14.3% in 2013 to 5.1% in 2016, a reduction of 65%. Kentucky is a state that chose to expand Medicaid.
In Tennessee, the uninsured rated dropped from 14.9% to 9%, a reduction of only 35%. Tennessee did not expand Medicaid because of obstruction from Republicans in the state legislature. Kentucky saw almost double the reduction in uninsured as Tennessee.
Estimates show that Tennessee has left over $3 billion in funding to the state because of the decision to not expand Medicaid.
“When you look at the results, it is clear that Kentucky made the right choice to bring their tax dollars home so that thousands more people would get access to quality health care. In Tennessee, Republicans chose to make expanding Medicaid about making a political point and not only left thousands of Tennesseans with no access to health care coverage, but they also wasted $3 billion of our tax dollars that should have come back to Tennessee and instead has gone to other states,” said Mary Mancini, Chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party.

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