CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- Doctor members of the Tennessee Medical Association are among those keeping a close eye on Congress as it gets its fall session underway this week.
Current Association President Dr. Nita Shumaker says that among the issues the group will be discussing with Tennessee’s Congressional delegation: making sure health insurance is available throughout Tennessee, and that premiums and deductibles are reasonably priced.
She also says the Association wants to ensure the new Republican budget doesn’t include Medicaid and Medicare cuts that could harm Tennesseans, especially family’s with medically fragile children and senior citizens.
“The older population is really tough because they have…they’re now on a fixed income, and so they don’t have a lot of resources to pay more money.”
Dr. Shumaker says she’s making Tennessee’s opioid epidemic the focus of her yearlong presidency. She notes that doctors in Tennessee are still writing more pain killer prescriptions than all but one other state in the union.
She says Tennesseans and their doctors both need to get the message that opioids are dangerous.
“It’s gonna take doctors getting that message that you have to change the way that we are practicing medicine. That we were told to do it this way for years and years, but we are now understanding how incredibly addictive opioids are and how dangerous they can be.”
Use the link below to hear the complete interview with Dr. Shumaker.