Dear Governor Haslam:
This is my 55th letter to you.
Your decision not to expand Tenn Care has real life consequences for real life people. I would like for you to meet Debbie Wilson.
Debbie lives in Knoxville. You used to be her mayor. She has epilepsy. Her seizures are not as frequent as Linda’s but when they occur are life threatening. A couple of months ago she was in UT Hospital on life support after a bout with seizures that lasted for days.
She lives alone now. The people she lived with beat her and stole all of her possessions shortly after she got home. She is terrified they will return. She is afraid too that the next round of seizures will kill her. She has no one to turn to.
She has lost one kidney and is in the process of the other one falling. There are a host of other medical problems. Each on their own is a mountain. Together well….she is hanging by a thread.
She had Tenn Care until about a year ago. She doesn’t really understand why it went away. One official told her she made too much money. She doesn’t understand that because she never made anymore than what she had. Then she says she got a letter telling her that since she didn’t have breast or cervical cancer she no longer qualified for Tenn Care. She doesn’t know.
She wants you to expand Tenn Care. She needs more than emergency help. She is not going to survive without real help. She says the couple of doctors who will still occasionally see her are telling her that if she cant do something about her bills they don’t know they can continue.
She is one of over 160000. You used to be her mayor. She wants you to be her governor.