With Focus on Rural Hospital Closures, Karl Dean for Governor Releases Second Comparative Ad in Support of Medicaid Expansion

With Focus on Rural Hospital Closures, Karl Dean for Governor Releases Second Comparative Ad in Support of Medicaid Expansion

Nashville, Tenn. (Sept. 27, 2018) — The Karl Dean for Governor campaign will begin airing a new ad this week that highlights Dean’s strong support for Medicaid expansion to help keep rural hospitals alive and expand access to healthcare across Tennessee.

The ad, “40 Years,” compares Dean’s position with that of the Republican nominee, Bill Lee, who is adamantly opposed to Medicaid expansion. It features Greta Sanders, a medical technologist who worked at the now-shuttered Haywood Park Community Hospital in Brownsville for 40 years before it closed in 2014.

“I think Bill Lee is just wrong,” Sanders says in the 30-second spot, which will air statewide. “He’s against expanding Medicaid, which would save our hospitals. It breaks my heart to think about all the lives that were saved here. Now the nearest hospital is 45 minutes away.

“I’m voting for a governor who will fix this.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, states have the option to expand Medicaid and receive additional federal tax dollars to provide health coverage for people with low incomes, patients with pre-existing conditions and people who are aging. Medicaid expansion would help 300,000 Tennessee residents who now must live without affordable health insurance.

The state would bring in $1.4 billion a year, or about $3.8 million a day, if it expanded Medicaid. Those funds would help hospitals that struggle without reimbursement for the uninsured care they provide, and they would free up more state dollars for investments in education, workforce development and other areas.

Meanwhile, 34 other states have already expanded their Medicaid programs with the help of every federal taxpayer in Tennessee. Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, which decided this year to expand Medicaid, said during a visit to Nashville this week that Tennessee’s failure to do so is “giving my state a competitive advantage.” Tennesseans should be giving ourselves the advantage rather than giving our tax dollars to other states for their healthcare.

Dean’s first comparative ad, which started airing two weeks ago, asked viewers to “imagine burning $3.8 million a day,” which the state has essentially done for years by paying for Medicaid expansion but getting none of the benefits. The first ad, “Common Sense,” continues to run.

A Vanderbilt University poll in May found 66 percent of state residents support Medicaid expansion.

“We have a choice between common sense and partisan politics,” Dean said. “I’m not interested in partisanship; I just care about results. Ultimately, it’s about people, and it’s time to bring home the dollars we’re already paying into Medicaid expansion so Tennesseans can have access to healthcare and live longer lives.”

Dean’s television ads continue to support his commitment to keeping his campaign focused on the issues that matter most to Tennesseans. Dean, who was mayor of Nashville from 2007 to 2015, has accepted invitations to more than 20 debates and forums during the general election campaign and looks forward to the three debates Lee has agreed to, starting Oct. 2 in Memphis. It’s important that Tennesseans have a chance to hear how both candidates plan to address access to affordable, quality healthcare and other key issues for the state.