Sixth Circuit Decision a Victory for People in Need of Quality Health Care
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The following statement about today’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upholding a decision requiring Tennessee to grant hearings on delayed TennCare applications is by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Tennessee Justice Center and the National Health Law Program, which filed the lawsuit against the state in 2014:
“This decision is a victory for thousands of Tennesseans denied health care for months because the state had been unconscionably slow in reviewing their TennCare applications. Pregnant women, cancer patients and critically ill newborns simply cannot wait for health care.
“Almost two years ago, a lower court recognized this fact by requiring Tennessee to grant hearings on delayed TennCare applications. By upholding this ruling, the appeals court keeps the door open for many more people to receive the health care that they so desperately need. It also helps ensure that they have a voice when the system breaks down and their applications are delayed.
“Despite these developments, more work remains to be done. Today’s decision does not end our lawsuit. It will go forward to address the remaining problems in the application process.”
NHeLP, founded in 1969, advocates for the rights of low-income and underserved people to access quality health care.
The SPLC, based in Alabama with offices in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.
TJC seeks justice for Tennessee’s vulnerable populations through the courts, in administrative proceedings and before legislative bodies. TJC addresses needs not met by any other agency and supports the work of other advocates for equal justice under law, both in Tennessee and beyond.