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Rural Tennessee advocates bring farm tractors to Nashville, protest AHCA

Protect Rural Tennessee Protest in Nashville, Tennessee. PHOTO: WZTV FOX 17 Nashville

Farm tractors drove down Broadway in Nashville on Thursday as part of a "Tractorcade" to protest proposed cuts to Medicaid in the GOP American Health Care Act (AHCA).

Advocates from Dickson, the University of Tennessee and Westmoreland took to the parking lot of the Christ Church Cathedral across from the Federal Courthouse on Broadway to make their case against the AHCA.

The group called for Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker to oppose the bill, which was originally to be up for vote last month.

The vote was delayed until after the 4th of July recess so the Senate GOP could work to gain enough votes for passage.

During Thursday's protest, advocates said the bill would "slash Medicaid funding, which is the cornerstone of not only small hospitals, but the entire healthcare infrastructure of rural Tennessee."

Carol Myers, a University of Tennessee nursing professor and farm owner, said there is currently a "rural health crisis" in the state. She believes the proposed changes in the House and Senate versions of the health care bill "will make things much, much worse."

Myers said 78 of the counties in Tennessee are rural with 17 of those counties ranking poorly on a national scale.

"In the bottom ten percent nationally as far as poverty, unemployment, and per capita market income," Myers said. "An additional 35 rank in the bottom 25 percent."

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