Chattanoogans voice wanted at Medicaid Public Hearing on October 16
Chattanooga will host a public meeting next week on Governor Bill Lee's Medicaid Waiver, which could impact thousands in Hamilton County.
According to TennCare numbers, more than one-million Tennesseans are in the program, including 65,000 people in Hamilton County.
That is why State Representative Yusuf Hakeem believes Chattanooga needs to be a part of this process.
"The citizen input should have a great impact on what is presented, if anything, to the federal government from the state of Tennessee,” Hakeem said.
Hakeem says TennCare continues to help thousands every day.
"The disabled, the children, seniors and others. So it is very important to this community to have a voice in what is happening in regards to health care,” Hakeem said.
Originally, the meetings were set in Nashville, Knoxville and Jackson. Hakeem convinced the governor's administration to add Chattanooga to the list.
He says this isn't the first time the Scenic City has been left out of the conversation.
"But we are included in this process and we are getting in before the deadline for discussion from the community,” Hakeem said.
Governor Lee says those opposed to his Medicaid Waiver are misinformed. He argues his proposal would strengthen TennCare and if approved, could give the program more funding.
That is why the governor wants to have these public meetings.
"Talking about people who don't have money in the first place. And I think that is something that is not proposed by this administration, but it's something that is out there and should be nixed right from the beginning,” Hakeem said.
Hakeem urges Hamilton County residents to come out next week, so everyone has a voice at the table.
"I would hope that we would take advantage of this opportunity. There has been opportunities in the past where we have acted after the fact and wanted to make comments. This is an opportunity for us to make comments during the process,” Hakeem said.
Memphis was also added to the list.
The meeting will be next Wednesday, October 16 at 2:00 p.m. inside the Chattanooga Library.