The 26th letter: What it is like

Dear Governor Haslam:

This is my 26th letter to you.

I know you dont know what it is like to live without healthcare.  You cant.

Let me share a little.  My story, my experience is no where close to the severity of many people   But still it might give you the flavor.

I had a full time job but with no health care benefits.  I started over the course of several days feeling worse and worse.  I was coughing almost non stop.  Hurting all over.  I felt terrible.  But not going to work meant not getting paid and not getting paid meant no rent….I went to work.

Within a few days it was simply too much.  I couldnt pay for a doctor (when you cant pay you dont go).  I went to the ER.  I had been working with pneumonia.  They told me if I had sought help earlier it would never have gotten that bad.  I told them I couldnt.  I dont know if they understood.

Having no insurance means that very treatable illnesses are just as dangerous as others.  In Knoxville recently a pastor died from pneumonia.  He had insurance and good care and still died tragically.

Like I said many people have far worse stories.  No one wants to be a tragedy waiting to happen.  No one should have to be.

Governor please expand TennCare.  There have been enough tragedies.  You can help.  Please act.

Until tomorrow.

Yours truly,

Larry Drain

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