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Questionnaire NameTennCare II - Amendment 36
DescriptionTennessee proposes to amend its demonstration in order to establish state-specific criteria for providers of family planning services and to exclude from the demonstration family planning providers that provide elective abortions. The federal public comment period will be open from August 24, 2018 to September 23, 2018.
Response FromID: #368161 on Aug 24th 2018 12:35 pm
TennCare II - Amendment 36

TennCare II - Amendment 36

We encourage the public to submit their comments on Medicaid.gov as they relate to demonstrations open for public comments. In support of transparency and open government, all public comments received are immediately posted and are in the public domain. Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services staff will review all public comments posted and we reserve the discretion to delete comments that are generally understood as any of the following: obscene, profane, threatening, or otherwise inappropriate.

Refer to the Application

Open for Public Comment – 8/24/18 – 9/23/18

Please provide your comments here and/or attach below:

I strongly urge you to not approve this amendment. Excluding providers from TennCare will only serve to restrict access to a variety of family planning services. The application boasts that benefits are not being restricted, but reducing the number of available providers per your amendment criteria will inevitable reduce the number of providers available to treat women for a host of preventative healthcare needs (beyond elective procedures). Access is already limited in the state. This amendment is not within the spirit of Medicaid if the spirit of Medicaid is to improve access to care.

With specific regard to the amendment's proposed exclusion on providers offering abortion services: The state is effectively making abortion services unavailable to the Medicaid insured population. Roe vs. Wade protects women's right to make choices about carrying their pregnancies to term. Many women who elect to have an abortion do so after making a difficult personal and medical decision. It is a gross overstep of the state to believe they know more about any women's health decision than the woman herself. Passing this amendment will only serve to put more women's lives at risk. Women who wish to have an abortion will not be deterred by your restriction. You are simply forcing them to engage in unsafe, informal medical procedures that put their lives at risk. Please reconsider this amendment. It is not a positive way to improve Medicaid or ensure appropriate healthcare for Medicaid beneficiaries.
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