The tenth letter

From the archives for “Dear Senator Ramsey”

Dear Senator Ramsey:

This is my tenth letter to you.

The sickness and death of poor people should never be the policy of a decent people.

In Tennessee it is.

Much of the debate, the criticism, the rationale for not acting on Insure Tennessee was simply apology  and excuse for doing nothing. Absent from much of the discussion was any picture of the real life consequences of living without access to decent health care and of the struggles and trials of real life Tennesseans. Little was said about the desperation that thousands and thousands live with on a daily basis. It was a  hollow discussion about matters of great weight and substance.

You talked to the hospitals who you didn’t believe,  Tenn Care who you didn’t accept and the Beacon Center who told you what you wanted to hear.   And then you decided to do what you had already decided to do.

The notion of the moral necessity of helping 280,000 people with no where to go and no  one to turn to was absent. There was no sense that something needed to be done. There was no sense of an imperative to action.

Every no is also a yes. Your yes was a yes to passivity and to the institutionalized neglect of the poor, needy and sick.

The sickness and death of poor people should never be the policy of a decent people.

Until next time.

Yours truly,

Larry Drain

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