It was initially assumed the president was coming to Nashville this week because the city is home to the largest for-profit hospital chains in the country. But according to industry leaders, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
The head of the Tennessee Hospital Association not only wasn't invited to have an audience with Trump, Craig Becker says key players in the local industry have had to find their own tickets to the event, just like the general public.
Trump speaks at a rally at Municipal Auditorium Wednesday evening.
"I’m not sure that they want to hear from us," Becker says. "Because I don’t know anyone on the healthcare side, particularly the hospital side, that’s too excited about this."
Under the GOP's new healthcare bill, Becker says the state’s rural and safety net hospitals risk losing $2 billion in funding that covers patients who can’t pay their bills. And he thinks up to a quarter-million people in the state could lose their coverage.
If he could speak to Trump, Becker says he’d remind him that Tennessee has stood with Republicans in the healthcare debate.
He says Tennessee’s healthcare industry is now working to convince state lawmakers the new plan is not “the way to go.”