Senate District 23, Senator Jack Johnson, consists of Williamson County, the richest county in Tennessee. How will they fare if Governor Haslam does not submit a federally acceptable Tennessee Plan for Medicaid Expansion?
Williamson County has a 5.40% unemployment rate, very good for this state. Their poverty rate is 5.20% - people who prefer to remain anonymous, according to Volume 7, Number 19 (October 3 – 23 issue) of The Contributor, because of the social stigma involved. Since the Williamson median family income is $89,063, the embarrassment of the unfortunate is easy to understand. Tina Edwards, Executive Director of GraceWorks, the Franklin-based non-profit that provides emergency assistance, explained the matter to The Contributor.
“It is the misperception that if somebody doesn’t make as much money as me, if they need to go to the food pantry to get food, then they’re not as valuable to this community as someone else. And that we don’t want them here. And sadly, you have a number of Williamson County residents who don’t want ‘those types of people’ living in Williamson County”
The one hospital in Williamson County is in no danger of curtailing its operations or closing because of changes in federal payment for indigent care.
29.30% of Williamson County citizens are 18 and under. Last October, Denise Goodwin, assistant Superintendent for Williamson County Elementary Schools, told The Contributor:
“For two years in a row, we’ve been around 140 homeless families. This year presently, with the data we’ve already pulled, we’re sitting at about 50 to 55 that have been identified that we’re serving, but I know that that’s going to grow over the year.”
100% federal poverty level for a family of four is only $23,550. Some families who go to GraceWorks will undoubtedly fall into the coverage gap between 100% and 138% federal poverty level.
Concerned Williamson County citizens can contact Senator Jack Johnson at 615-741-2495.