The sixth letter: the danger

Dear Governor Haslam:

This is my sixth letter to you.

Not expanding medicaid makes it more dangerous for all Tennesseans, rather they have insurance or not.

One hospital has closed and it seems inevitable that others will close.  Tennesseans who live in rural communities will not have the same access to health care that others have.  Should healthcare next become a function of where you live as well as how much money you have.  We have begun the first steps down that path.  It will be a path of even further injustice, of further misery and sickness, and for some a path of unnecessary death.  You can stop it now.  Expand medicaid.

But it goes so much further than even that.  Big city hospitals like Erlanger are in trouble.  In the end there is a limit to how much uncompensated care anyone can eat.  Do you believe this is simply rhettoric??  This is not about Obama or democrats or republicans or tea party.  This is about people who entrusted you with the governship.  They dont owe you.  You owe them.

It is time to stop working on the Tennessee plan and make it work.  You can do better.

Where I live the hospital is losing more and more money with each day.  They dont publicize it because they are afraid of what it would do for public confidence but they are reducing staff.  There are not as many nurses, not as many other staff.  They shuffle and plug the best they can, but eventually there has to be a gap somewhere and there will be a tragedy.  Hopefully no one will die.  I dont think my hospital is the only one.

Not expanding medicaid increases the risk of all Tennesseans when in need and in good faith they seek medical care.  Without action on your part it can only get worse.  Please act now.  Acting will not get easier with waiting.  Isnt it time for you to take some political risk to lessen the medical risk of so many.

Thank you for listening.  I hope you have a great holiday.

Until tomorrow.

Yours truly,

Larry Drain

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