The last months have seen an explosion of stories about what it means to live without health insurance when access to medical care is the difference between a quality life or not or maybe any life at all. There have been hundreds of stories, maybe thousands. There are many many stories that have not been told. There is not just a coverage gap. There is a packed, filled, tragic gap that affects every city and town in Tennessee. Everybody knows someone.
The response by legislators has seemed to be to pass all stories off as “just another story….” – nothing they haven’t heard, nothing that makes anything different. After awhile maybe they really do run together.. I don’t know.
But what if they really mattered??
What if legislators knew that each story was a person…. A real live person with the same needs, same feelings, same hopes as him, his brother, his wife, his children. What if they knew but for the grace of God their story was his story? What if he knew that his was the power of life and death for literally thousands of people who only want to be heard and find out their lives are more than story? What if he knew?
I would like to think they couldn’t rest. I would like to think that urgency would be overwhelming and they would demand action. I would like to think it went past politics and party. I would like to think it couldn’t and wouldn’t wait. I would like to think in Tennessee that the collective will and commitment of decent people would be enough to make things better.
None of the things I would like to think are true.
It is about stories but more than that it is about people.
How can anyone know and not act????
How can anyone not know????