Rutherford County comprises all of Senate District 13, Senator Bill Ketron, and a portion of Senate District 14, Senator Jim Tracey. The remainder of District 14 will be considered separately. How will Rutherford County’s people fare if Governor Haslam does not submit a federally acceptable Tennessee Plan for Medicaid Expansion?
Rutherford County has an unemployment rate of 6.50%. Its poverty rate, however, is 24.50%. Despite the relatively high median family income of $54,433, District 13 obviously has citizens between the 100% and 138% poverty rate who would benefit from Medicaid Expansion. In the continental United States, 135% poverty rate for a family of four is $31,792.50. Remember, the ‘median family income’ is the figure in the exact middle of all the family incomes in the county.
Neither of Rutherford County’s hospitals is considered at risk of curtailing operations or closing as a result of losing federal indigent care dollars. Nevertheless, the District’s population of 262,604 divided by two hospitals means a ratio of 131,302 potential patients per hospital. This compares to Hamilton County’s population of 336,463 divided by 11 hospitals for a ratio of 30,588 potential patients per hospital.
25.30% of Rutherford County citizens are under the age of 18. This is a population often at risk in areas with high poverty rates.
Rutherford County citizens concerned about Medicaid Expansion should consult their voter registration cards, and then contact Senator Bill Ketron at 615-741-6853 or Senator Jim Tracey at 615-741-1066.