Tennessee Governor Bredesen to Re-Open CoverKids – Say Ahhh! A Children’s Health Policy Blog

Today, there’s a new beat coming out of Nashville,
Tennessee (aka Music City, USA). 
Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen has changed his tune and announced that
on March 1 enrollment will resume for
CoverKids, the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  The Governor had frozen enrollment in
November but, after a loud public outcry, he decided to tap a state savings
account for public health programs to re-open enrollment for uninsured

The news is music to the ears of the parents of the
145,000 uninsured children in Tennessee who may be eligible for coverage if
they are unable to find private health insurance.  The Tennessee Justice Center and other advocates have been
urging the Governor to re-open enrollment.  Michele Johnson at the Justice Center blogged about the enrollment freeze on Say Ahhh! last month and credits the blog with
helping to focus attention on the issue which led to the Governor’s action to
re-open CoverKids. 

In announcing the change in policy last night, the
Governor was quoted as saying: “Fortunately, we’ve been able to dig deep and
find additional funding to keep this option available to families in

Let’s hope other Governors and state policymakers are
paying attention and will “dig deep” before denying access to affordable
coverage to children in need.


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