Dear Governor Haslam:
This is my 19th letter to you.
You live different when you know medical care is not coming. You really do. Every twinge, every pain, every symptom leaves you a little bit paranoid. You wonder what is dangerous and what is not. A lot of very solveable, very treatable things are big time problems without care.
My doctor told me I had a hernia and needed immediate surgery. I knew in the scheme of things that hernia surgery was not a big deal and it seemed common sense to me that going without it could not be that big a deal. My doctor about had a heart attack when I told him I would not be having the surgery.
I explained to him that I had no insurance and hospitals were telling me it would take over $4000 cash just to get in the door. He said there was no other treatment and that it could not wait.
I asked him what would happen without the surgery.
“In your case the hernia is probably going to go bad. The worst thing that could happen is that you could have something called “strangulation of the bowel.” It will be the worst pain you have ever known. If you get to the ER in time they will do emergency surgery. You may well suffer permanent damage. You could easily die.”
He got my attention. Nothing may happen but with insurance, with surgery it is not a maybe. Nothing would happen. I do live with a lot of discomfort. So far though no “worse pain I have ever had…”
But I do worry. I do question pains that I once would have shrugged off. I know it has affected my life. I pray that it does not cause my death.
Thousands and thousands of people face far worse every day of their lives. But you have to know that without insurance even ordinary things can mean great danger.
Governor make it safe. Please expand Tenn Care. No one should suffer or die as a byproduct of no insurance. We can be better than that.
Governor. Speak and speak loudly.