NASHVILLE — How, exactly, are state and federal officials spending $15 million in taxpayer money to promote healthy behavior among Tennesseans through the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act?
Tennessee Department of Health and Human Services officials did not provide Tennessee Watchdog with any specifics last month.
However, state Department of Health officials now have provided documentation describing how they will spend at least $1 million of that money. The programs are expected to:
- Help smokers quit by providing them with putty to relieve stress and discourage them from giving in to their cigarette cravings;
- Offer double value on EBT cards for people on public assistance, provided they purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets;
- Educate children, parents, child care providers and senior citizens about how best to eat;
- Build walking tracks in various communities.
These are only a few of the projects the Prevention and Public Health Fund is paying for, courtesy of taxpayer money.
The recipients, whether they are local government officials or leaders of various nonprofits, say the benefits to the community will outweigh the costs.