Senate District 14, Senator Jim Tracey, consists of 4 counties in addition to his portion of Rutherford County. These counties are Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall, and Moore. How will they fare if Governor Haslam does not submit a federally acceptable Tennessee Plan for Medicaid Expansion?
Lincoln County has the best unemployment rate of the four, with 5.50%. Moore County has a rate of 7.40%, Bedford has an 8.90% rate, and Marshall County is in the double digits at 11.20%. Poverty rates for these four counties are all in the double digits. Bedford has a 17.60% rate, Lincoln’s is 13.80%, Marshall’s 13.30%, and Moore’s 19.20%.
Median family incomes for the four counties do not begin to approach the $54,433 family median of their neighbors in Rutherford County. The Bedford median family income is $39,480. Lincoln’s is $41,454, Marshall’s $41,620, and Moore’s $45,950. To put this in perspective, 135% of poverty level for a family of 5 is $37,219.50, and $42,646.50 is 135% poverty level for a family of six. Obviously, families in these counties would benefit from a Medicaid Expansion to 138% poverty level.
15% of Bedford County citizens are veterans, with 13% in Lincoln County, 13% in Marshall, and 13% in tiny Moore County. These veterans must rely on the Alvin C. York Campus in Murfreesboro; there are no Veterans’ Administration facilities in these counties.
The hospital situation in these four counties is discouraging. Tiny Moore County does not have a hospital. The other three counties have one hospital each, but two of them are in danger of curtailing operations or closing their doors if there is no form of Medicaid Expansion. Heritage Medical Center in Bedford, with 234 employees, is at risk, as is Marshall Medical Center, with 127 employees. Lincoln County’s Lincoln Medical Center could be the only hospital available in the whole area.
The four counties are home to many Tennesseans under 18. Bedford has 20.50%, Lincoln 20.30%, Marshall 24.30%, and Moore 21%. These children are a special concern in an area with so few hospitals available.
Citizens of Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall, and Moore Counties who are concerned about how they would fare without some sort of Medicaid Expansion can call Senator Jim Tracey at 615-741-1066.