The 48th letter: Our skin in the game

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Dear Governor Haslam:

This is my 48th letter to you.

Governor I read somewhere that your “Tennessee Plan” is supposed to give people “skin in the game.” I think your idea is that by having people pay a co-pay that their insurance will mean more to them. Governor I got skin. Her name is Linda (the pretty one in the picture above).

Linda was born with epilepsy. A few years ago a good day for us was 10-15 grand mal seizures. Not many days were good days. She has been in status epilipticus 4 different times. She finally hurt herself bad. She fell down a flight of stairs during a seizure and hit her face on the banister. She broke her face.

She had brain surgery. It stopped the seizures for a year but when they came back they came back with a vengeance.. At one point she was in Vanderbilt Hospital having 100 seizures a day. She found also she had a raft of cognitive problems she never had before the surgery. One doctor finally told her, “You now have a traumatic brain injury.”

She is a kind and caring person. She is bright and intelligient person. She has a deep personal faith and despite every reason not to lives with a deep sense of hope. She is a miracle.

She is also a Tenn Care miracle. Seizures no longer define our life. Medical care has mattered. She is a miracle but a miracle that must be redone every day. Without care she will be dead in 30 days.

Your failure to expand Tenn Care has put her in danger. You have destroyed our family. If I earn enough money to live then that money will deprive her of the medication and care that gives her life.

I cant take the chance. In another week I will be on the street without a home. I is the only way I can save her life.

Governor I got skin. How about you?

Until tomorrow.

Yours truly,

Larry Drain

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