Senate District 16, Senator Janice Bowling, consists of seven counties: Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie, Van Buren, and Warren. How will this District fare if Governor Haslam does not submit a federally acceptable Tennessee Plan for Medicaid Expansion?
Coffee County has a 7.50% unemployment rate, the lowest in this group of counties. Franklin and Sequatchie Counties are tied at 7.80% unemployment. Marion has 8.90% unemployment, Warren 9.20%, Grundy at 9.40%, and Van Buren tops the list at 11.60% unemployment. All counties have double digit poverty rates. Sequatchie at 13.50% poverty is the lowest, followed by Marion at 16.40%, Grundy at 17.70%, Coffee at 18.70%, Franklin at 19.10%, Warren at 21.10%, and Van Buren at 24.60%.
Median family income varies from a low of $25,890 in Grundy County to a high of $41,726 in Franklin County. ics.com For comparison purposes, 133% of the federal poverty level in the contiguous states is $42,014.70 for a family of six. Obviously some families in these counties fall into the coverage gap between 100% poverty and 138% poverty. Thus they do not qualify for current Tenncare or for the Insurance Marketplace. Only some form of Medicaid Expansion can help them.
11% of Coffee County citizens are veterans. Franklin County has 10%, Grundy County 14%, Marion County 13%, Sequatchie County 16%, Van Buren County 13%, and Warren County has 13%. There is one Veterans Administration outpatient clinic in McMinnville.
Four of the seven counties, Grundy, Sequatchie, Van Buren, and Warren, have no hospitals. Grandview Medical Center, with 237 employees, in Marion county may be forced to curtail operations or close due to changed distribution of federal funds. Coffee County has three hospitals that are not currently endangered, and Franklin County has two.
More than 20% of citizens in each county is under 18. Three counties are over 24% children, and Franklin County sits right at 25%. Just looking at the figures above indicates many of these youngsters would fare better with some form of Medicaid Expansion.
Concerned District 16 citizens should contact Senator Janice Bowling at 615-741-6694.