Senate District 27, Senator Lowe Finney, consists of Crockett, Dyer, Lake, Lauderdale, and Madison Counties. Since Senator Finney is resigning from the Senate after this session, District 27 citizens should think carefully when electing his successor. How will this area fare if Governor Haslam does not submit a federally acceptable Tennessee Plan for Medicaid Expansion?
Madison County, the largest of the group, also has the lowest unemployment rate at 8.20%. The others have unemployment rates in the double digits: 10.20% for Crockett and Lake, 11.60% for Dyer, and 12.40% for Lauderdale. Their poverty rates, however, are ALL in the double digits. Dyer County is lowest at 13%, followed by Crockett at 15.80%, Lauderdale at 17.40%, Crockett at 15.80%, and Madison at 18.70%. Note that Madison County simultaneously has the lowest unemployment rate and the highest poverty rate.
The counties have a fairly wide range of median annual family incomes. Madison County has the highest median at $40,677, followed by Dyer at $38,909, Crockett at $36,743, Lauderdale at $34,078, and tiny Lake County at $26,797. Compare these medians with the 135% annual federal medians. $26,365.50 is 135% poverty level for a family of three. $31,792.50 is 135% poverty for a family of four. $37,219.50 is 135% poverty for a family of five, and $42,646.50 is 135% poverty for a family of six. Obviously, many families in all five counties will fall into the coverage gap between 100% poverty and the HealthCare Marketplace if Governor Haslam does not submit some sort of Medicaid Plan.
17% of Crockett County citizens are veterans, as are 12% of Dyer, 13% of Lake, 15% of Lauderdale, and 14% of Madison. The Veterans Administration has community based outpatient centers in both Dyersburg and Jackson.
Crockett and Lake Counties have no hospitals. Dyer and Lauderdale Counties have one hospital each, and Madison County has two. None of these hospitals are currently at risk of curtailing operations or closure because of the change in federal funding for indigent care.
Only 19.10% of the Crockett County population is 18 and under, but the rest all exceed the 20% mark. Many of these children will undoubtedly be adversely affected if there is no Tennessee Plan for Medicaid Expansion.
Until the end of the current session, concerned District 27 citizens can contact Senator Lowe Finney at 615-741-1810.