For a lot of people going to the doctor may seem like a normal thing but for 20% of Rutherford County it is very stressful and a lot of money. Since the Affordable Care Act has been put in place it left out almost half a million people in Tennessee alone. They call it the “Medicaid Gap” and the gap is leaving people without healthcare. In 2014 Bill Haslam proposed a new plan to use federal funds to expand coverage to 200,000 low-income state residents, but the proposal was denied in 2015 by the senate.
Some Murfreesboro businesses are reaching out to these uninsured patients to make sure they get the healthcare they need. Dental Excellence is giving away free teeth cleanings every Saturday and Sunday. The business says they want to help uninsured patients get the cleanings they need so that future health problems won`t occur.
The Hope Clinic is another health services provider that takes 7,000 uninsured patients a year. Cindy Rhea, Director Of Development, says that these clinics are actually saving money for the Government in the long run. By having these clinics avaliable it can help patients from going to a hospital and getting diagnosed late. Cindy also said Uninsured patients who have been going to the clinic and are now insured, stay because of the great connection they made with their doctors.
These two clinics are not the only ones in Rutherford County. There are currently nine different businesses in the area and can be found at www.freeclinicdirectory.org.
Haslam has not released a new proposal to help these uninsured patients but says he is working on a plan that won`t cause Tennessee a dime, but could cost the Government millions.