Big Cuts for Tennessee Health Care if No Compromise by Congress

Big Cuts for Tennessee Health Care if No Compromise by Congress

With about $85 billion in forced spending cuts across the board, some politicians say the president is using scare tactics to get his way; others say that’s not true.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - With about $85 billion in forced spending cuts across the board, some politicians say the president is using scare tactics to get his way. Others say that’s not true and a compromise between Republicans and Democrats need to be made by Friday to avoid chaos. If there’s no compromise, in Tennessee the health department will lose more than $250,000 just in HIV testing and thousands of dollars more in cuts will affect vaccines for children and treating substance abuse.

"I think that the president needs to stop trying to scare the American people," said Republican Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jinda.

"I think we should be very alarmed at these cuts. I don't think it's anything to laugh at or play,” said Chairman of the Shelby County Democratic Party Van Turner.

Republicans and Democrats are always in a heated match to get anything done in D.C. First it was the debt ceiling, then the fiscal cliff, and now sequestration. Whatever politicians want to call it, it means bringing down the hammer somewhere.

"People in health care are always frustrated when politicians are trying to determine how they want to treat health care,” said Planned Parenthood of Memphis CEO Barry Chase.

Chase is worried about all the possible public health cuts. He says that money pays for lots of preventive and necessary health care, like HIV testing.

"Shelby County or Memphis leads the nation in HIV and if we don't prevent it, if we don't test people then those people are going to spread it unknowingly,” said Chase.

Whatever happens, Chase hopes politicians will reach a middle ground.

"They have no idea the reality of health care is for people of low income or people are out of work. We're still in a recession,” he said.

Tennessee is facing more than $4.5 million in total public health care cuts. Mississippi and Arkansas are each facing about $1 million in health cuts.

Click on the state for a complete list of cuts:

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