The 24th letter: when you have no choice to choose

Dear Governor Haslam:

This is my 24th letter to you.  Perhaps it is the hardest.

Your choices have consequences.  Even when you think that you have decided not to choose that is still a choice.  And news today for me is not good.

In the second letter I told you something of my story.  Without simply repeating it briefly my wife and I had to separate to survive.  They told us my retirement and her SSI was too much money and they were taking hers away (check letter 2 for a full description).  They told me if I got a job and made more than $85 a month she would lose her Tenn Care.  That would cost her life and cant happen. Whatever must be done that cant happen.  If Tenn Care had been expanded and the rules different but as we both know Tenn Care was not expanded.

She is waiting to hear on a permanent placement.  Today we found out her temporary placement is probably over in 3 weeks.  There is no assurance permanent placement will be availible in time.  She may have no place to live.

The options stink.  If she comes back with me she loses her SSI.  We will have less than $30 a month to live on for the two of us.  If I get a job she will lose her insurance and die.  She wants to go to Knoxville Area Rescue Mission and live on the streets.  I cant allow that.  If her placement falls through before a permanent answer I will give my apartment to Linda and start living out of my car or whatever shelter I can find.  Our choices are no choices.

I need you to know and understand none of this would have happened if Tenn Care had been expanded.  It is the necessity of her maintaining insurance that drives our entire situation.  For our lives you have already decided.

I am asking you to act.  Sitting on your hands is a disaster for everyone in need who depends on you to be their governor too.

Pray for us Governor.  We will need it.

Until tomorrow.

Yours truly.

Larry Drain

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