Dear Governor Haslam:
Today marks the end of a week of moral action sponsored by the NAACP in Tennessee. One of the subjects today is health care. Health care is a moral action and the lack of it for all Tennesseans a major assault on the moral fabric of our state.
Over 161,000 Tennesseans await action from you. They are largely the working poor who have tried to do the right thing their entire life and know find in a country in the midst of health care reform there is no health care reform for them.
There is a big gap in Tennessee between those who believe their voice counts and those who believe they have no voice. If you are poor the overwhelming message right now is that your voice is not important. There are people whose life is in danger right from lack of medical care now who believe it is pointless to speak and if they do it should always be with apology. As Governor that should alarm and scare you. The overwhelming message they get is that they are disposable and their lives an inconvenience.
People who are poor, who have no insurance, who are sick or have family sick no longer believe anyone listens and that even their screams and cries are as a whisper. Many believe it is pointless to ask because no one is listening. Governor they are talking about you.
Consider some numbers:
161000 Tennesseans without insurance
30- The amount of dollars Tennessee gains for every dollar it spends on Tenn Care expansion
2.7 million- the amount of money Tennessee is losing every day in federal aid.
260- the minimum amount of people who die in Tennessee each year from lack of insurance.
22,000- the amount of new jobs Tenn Care expansion would create for Tennessee.
2.3 billion dollars- the amount of decrease in uncompensated care for Tennessee hospitals.
1.5 billion- the total amount of federal aid lost in 2014
760- the upper limit of the amount of people in Tennessee who will die from lack of insurance.
17,000- the amount of uninsured veterans who would be able to get insurance if Tenn Care expanded.
0- the amount of times Bill Haslam has stood up to the Tea Party about Tenn Care expansion.
0- the amount of people in Tennessee who have seen the Tennessee plan.
On a personal note there are two more numbers: 33 and 8.
33 is the amount of years my wife and I have been married. 8 months ago we separated to protect her access to Tenn Care. I know by now you now the story. If Tenn Care is expanded we can live together without my wife dying.
One more. 7. 7 is the amount of years I have been free of insurance. I pray each day it is a freedom I will soon lose. Like many people I have needs. I need a surgery that can never happen unless Tenn Care is expanded. So many people need you to act.
Governor be the governor of all Tennesseans. Open the conversation on Tenn Care expansion now!!!