Fitzhugh Commends Haslam on Avoiding ‘Devastating, Catastrophic’ TennCare Cuts

Press Release from the House Democratic Caucus, May 5, 2011:

Democrats reach agreement to restore healthcare cuts; Negotiations with governor successful in improving budget

NASHVILLE – House Democrats this week were successful in budget talks with the Republican administration. Vital improvements were made in curbing harmful cuts, House leaders said.

“Governor Haslam’s original budget contained devastating and catastrophic cuts to TennCare that would have drastically affected the lives of those citizens in our state who need us the most,” said House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley).

The preliminary budget included cuts to nursing homes, medical transportation providers, lab and x-ray services, Meharry Medical College, the department of intellectual and developmental disabilities, dental services for children, home health providers, and services that help young children stay alive. There were also cuts to the Regional Med in Memphis, Metro General Hospital, and Jellico Hospital.

“As Democrats we met with the governor and expressed how serious these cuts were,” Fitzhugh said. “Through our negotiating with the governor and his commissioners, we are pleased to announce that we have convinced the governor to restore nearly $250 million to TennCare.”

“We are happy that the governor has listened to our concerns, and that he agrees funding in these crucial areas is the right thing to do,” Fitzhugh said.