Yesterday’s News Channel 5 broadcast contained a powerful segment about the hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans stuck in the “coverage gap” thanks to the TN GOP’s refusal to expand medicaid, which has cost our state $6 Billion and counting and helped us lead the country in rural hospital closures per capita.
The report is a much-needed reminder that the numbers behind the purely political calculation on the part of the Republicans represent actual people – people who don’t have enough money to be able to purchase health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, but who also aren’t poor enough to qualify for Medicaid thanks to the GOP’s refusal to expand it (despite the fact that our Republican Governor wanted to).
Michele Fardan, a mother in the piece, recounts in heartbreaking detail how her 37 year-old daughter Monika stubbed her toe on a trip out of state, opted not to see a doctor because she had no insurance, and was therefore unaware that small blood clots were forming in her body.
One of the blood clots traveled to Monika’s heart. She suffered a seizure and died.
Michele tells Channel 5:
“I believe if she had insurance she’d still be alive today.”
The piece says Republicans refuse to expand Medicaid now – after billions have already been lost – because “it makes little sense with the Affordable Care Act in jeopardy”, Meanwhile other states with Republicans in charge just recently did it. And more will soon follow.
We’re now one of only 17 states left who haven’t expanded medicaid, and the damage is calculable.
And to watch this happen while men like newly elected congressman Mark Green, who “led the fight” against Governor Haslam’s expansion plan as a state senator, is on video saying government programs (like Medicaid) “Keep suffering Tennesseans from a saving knowledge of who God is” because they turn to the government instead of God for help…
NEW VIDEO: My opponent Mark Green explains the radical religious views behind his decision to reject billions of our federal Medicaid expansion dollars – which caused many rural hospitals to close and 300,000 Tennesseans to go without health coverage, including 30,000 veterans. pic.twitter.com/Q7bURIFuGc
— Justin Kanew (@Kanew) September 13, 2018
Frankly, that’s just frightening.
Monika’s mother Michele, whose daughter Monika is gone, sums it up harshly, but accurately:
“It’s like murder.”
One can only hope the Republican legislators who claim to be “pro-life” will see that they are being irresponsible by playing partisan politics with people’s lives, resisting a program because it came from President Obama – who if you’ll notice hasn’t been office for 2 years.
And now Rep. Jim Cooper has a bill that would increase the incentive by raising the federal matching dollars and give TN’s state legislature even less excuse not to expand Medicaid.
Bottom Line: If President Trump wanted to give us billions of dollars to fix our roads, you can be sure they would take it. Holler at Governor Lee and ask him to put people first.
Thanks for reading! We’re an independent, reader-supported site that depends entirely on you to help us keep holding our public officials accountable and “Yelling the Truth”, so please consider chipping in a $3, $5, or $10 monthly and we’ll keep telling the stories nobody else will: