Uninsured Rate Drops To 9 Percent In Tennessee, Even Without Medicaid Expansion | Nashville Public Radio

Uninsured Rate Drops To 9 Percent In Tennessee, Even Without Medicaid Expansion

Sep 13, 2017

The number of Tennessee residents without health insurance has dropped to just 9 percent, even though the state has rejected Medicaid expansion. 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.

More: Health Insurance Coverage In The United States, 2016 Report

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.

Democrats are highlighting that point in a continuing campaign to provide more of the state's working poor with subsidized coverage.

“When you look at the results, it is clear that Kentucky made the right choice," Tennessee Democratic Party chair Mary Mancini says in a statement. "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."