Senate District 28, Senator Joey Hensley, consists of Giles, Lawrence, Lewis, Maury, Perry, and Wayne Counties. How will these counties fare if Governor Haslam does not submit a federally acceptable Tennessee Plan for Medicaid Expansion?
Giles County has the lowest unemployment rate at 9.20%. Maury County comes next at 9.30%, then Lewis at 10.70%, Wayne at 10.80%, Lawrence at 11.30%, and Perry at 11.80%. Unfortunately, no county has a poverty rate under 15%. Wayne County has a 15.50% poverty rate, Lewis 15.90%, Perry 17.10%, Maury 17.30%, Lawrence 18.30%, and Giles 18.70%.
Median annual family incomes are less spread in this District than in District 27. Maury County comes in highest at $46,552, then Giles at $37,981, Lawrence at $35,737, Wayne at $33,630, Lewis at $32,337, and Perry at $31,857. What is discouraging is that they track with 135% of the annual federal poverty level, throwing many of these families into the coverage gap – making too much for TennCare and not enough for the HealthCare Marketplace. The 135% poverty level for a family of four is $31,797.50, for a family of five $37,219.50, for six $42,646.50, and for seven $48,073.50.
12% of Giles County citizens are veterans, as are 12% of Lawrence County, 11% of Lewis, 13% of Maury, 12% of Perry, and 12% of Wayne. There are no Veterans Administration facilities in any of these counties.
There are no hospitals in Lewis and Perry Counties. The hospitals in Lawrence, Maury and Wayne Counties are thus far unaffected by the change in federal payment for indigent care. Hillside Hospital in Giles County (219 employees), however, may have to curtail its operations or close its doors if some kind of Medicaid Expansion Plan does not come into being.
Only Perry County (19.20%) and Wayne County (19.60%) have fewer than 20% of citizens age 18 and under. Many of these children will be adversely affected if there is no Tennessee Plan for Medicaid Expansion.
Concerned citizens of District 28 can contact Senator Joey Hensley at 615-741-3100.