By Consumers For Quality Care, on December 20, 2019
Waiver Proposal Threatens Access to Care for Tennessee’s Most Vulnerable
Washington D.C. – With a week left in the federal comment period, Consumers for Quality Care (CQC) urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to reject a Medicaid block grant waiver proposal submitted by the state of Tennessee. If implemented, the TennCare II Demonstration Amendment 42 would reduce access to quality and affordable health care for Tennesseans enrolled in the TennCare program. It would also set a dangerous precedent.
“It is disappointing to see Governor Lee and the state of Tennessee move forward with this dangerous experiment on the most vulnerable Tennesseans,” said former Congresswoman and first female physician elected to Congress, Hon. Donna Christensen. “Since its inception, Medicaid has been designed to provide access to quality health care coverage for Americans who need it most. This waiver runs directly counter to this intent and would be catastrophic if implemented.”
CQC has been vocal in its opposition to the harmful proposal. In October, CQC along with Allergy & Asthma Network, Consumer Action, First Focus on Children, MANA, A National Latina Organization, and Patient Power submitted a comment letter to the state voicing concerns about the proposal. In November, CQC board member Jason Resendez published an op-ed in The Tennessean. In the piece, he outlined how this dangerous experiment would restrict provider options and reduce services for TennCare enrollees, all while giving the state discretion over the funding meant to serve Tennessee’s most vulnerable.
CQC also launched a “Take Action” campaign for Tennesseans to make their voices heard and to help protect TennCare for those who rely on its health care coverage, including children, pregnant women and individuals with disabilities. Tennesseans can send letters directly to CMS and ensure the federal agency hears their concerns.
With the waiver now under consideration by the federal government, CQC urges CMS to reject this harmful proposal and once and for all put an end to experiments being waged by states across the country on Americans who rely on Medicaid.
Consumers for Quality Care (CQC) is a coalition of advocates and former policy makers working to provide a voice for patients in the health care debate as they demand better care. CQC is led by a board of directors that includes the Honorable Donna Christensen, physician and former Member of Congress; Jim Manley, former senior advisor to Senators Edward Kennedy and Harry Reid; and Jason Resendez, community advocate and health care strategist.
To learn more about Consumers for Quality Care and the issues consumers are experiencing, visit www.consumers4qualitycare.org.