Another Tennessee rural hospital closes….RIP Decatur County General Hospital
The Tennessee legislature’s failure to expand Medicaid with Governor Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal has led to the inevitable closing of yet another rural Tennessee hospital. The Decatur County Commision announced last week the closing of The Decatur County General Hospital. Republican Steve McDaniel, who represents the district now says he would have supported the Medicaid expansion. Now he says “I can tell you this, that if we had expanded the Medicaid program as Governor Haslam had proposed, this hospital likely would not have closed,” and “When you don’t have a medical facility with a hospital and ER, it puts you at a huge disadvantage when it comes to recruiting jobs.” The legislation to extend TennCare to the working poor never made it out of committee. It is pretty safe for McDaniel to espouse this now as he is not seeking re-election.
The Tennessee Hospital Association had lobbied hard for Medicaid expansion to no avail. Tennessee is second only to Texas in the number of rural hospitals closed.
The failure to expand Medicaid (and take free dollars from the federal government) is yet another example of the Republican legislature toeing the party line to the detriment of Tennesseans. Party trumps the people. RIP Decatur County General Hospital.