There are 20 billboards like the one pictured in the link above all over the state of Tennessee. Perhaps you have seen one. Perhaps you have read a story about one in your local newspaper. If you haven’t yet I hope you will read the story linked above.
There are pictures of veterans, of ordinary hard working Tennesseans. They represent the more than 280,000 Tennesseans in the coverage gap. The coverage gap is more than a gap. It is a huge hole … No really a canyon. It is a man made disaster of epic proportions that denies poor people the right to even basic health care. It is a disaster that takes years off their lives, results in unnecessary suffering and for too many tragic death. It resulted when Tennessee refused to expand Medicaid basically telling thousands of Tennesseans they are too poor to deserve help and their lives are disposable. It continues to exist because the Tennessee state legislature has made Insure Tennessee, the governors plan to close the gap the victim of political convenience and interests and for two years had not just refused to pass it. They have basically refused to talk about it. After two years a plan to help 280,000 Tennesseans has not even received a full up or down vote.
The billboards ask for help. It is not okay for the legislature to turn it’s back. It is not okay for thousands of Tennesseans whose only crime is to be poor to be the victim of the political convenience of the very people they elected to represent them. The billboards ask Speaker Harwell to act, to lead. They ask her to represent what is best about Tennessee instead of what is worst about politics.
Most importantly each billboard has a number for you to call and ask Speaker Harwell to act. Morality knows no season. It is time to act now. Do you know someone in the gap? Do you have a friend or family member who can’t wait for the convenience of political calendars? Tell her not that you expect her to win the battle. Tell her you expect her to make the fight. All of us deserve that much.
I have a friend who can’t wait. Her name is Tracy Foster and she is fighting for her life. She has two different kinds of cancer. Vanderbilt Hospital has agreed after they found out about the tragedy she faces to provide medical care but she still must buy medication. There is no insurance to buy meds. She is left to beg on the Internet for the money to buy pain meds and other needs. She is left to beg for gas money to get to the appointments to save her life. Last I heard there was little or no money. There was no pain medication. All Tracy could do was cry.
What if it was your mom…. your wife? What if it was you? Is it not time for those who represent us to listen? Is it not time for Speaker Harwell to lead? Is political affiliation or convenience ever a real reason to let people suffer??
Please find out about the billboards. Please get the phone number and call the speaker. Today… Please call. It works if we work it but we must work it.
Stand up for Tennessee. Stand up today. And ask…. No demand…. that Speaker Harwell stand up with you.
It is time. Long past time. Insure Tennessee now.