What we do over the next days and weeks may well have an effect on the lives of many people you know…. or perhaps on your own life.
Some people just can’t wait. They have waited and waited and waited. Without action they will move from political inconvenience to medical tragedy. Of the people in the gap I don’t know how many fall into “can’t wait.” Perhaps hundreds, perhaps thousands…I don’t think anyone truly knows.
The coverage gap is a Titanic of human tragedy. And now, rather than turn to the life boats available the task force is seeking to find a better life boat. I don’t know. Maybe they are even trying to decide if we can even afford life boats.
A moral dilemma has become not a question of what we can no longer afford to not to, but a political discussion about who will win this fight for political capital. If you are not frightened you should be. If you are not a little sick to your stomach you should be.
Perhaps the task force is a narrow road to helping people in the gap. Perhaps it is not a road at all. Perhaps it is a sham and political theater at its worst. I do not know.
But what I know is this. They need to be held accountable. Who will speak for the people who can’t wait if we don’t ? It doesn’t matter what the task force is. It doesn’t matter their agenda, their intentions or anything else. It matters who we are. It matters what we stand for. It matters what we care about. And it matters that in the state of Tennessee in the year 2016 people will die because their health was an inconvenience to the people we chose to represent us. I wonder in 10 or 15 years how we will ever explain this. How do we explain how people who could of lived had to die, had to suffer, had to be abandoned by the people they turned to help for.
We need to hold the task force accountable because we are accountable. They can choose not to listen. They can choose not to care. They can not choose for us to be silent. They can not choose for us to be invisible.
The task force is close to the end. Meetings are left in Knoxville and Johnson City next Thursday. It is so important that as many people as possible come to those meetings. The meeting in Chattanooga is probably the week after that. It may not be a great chance. But what if it is the last chance? Come if there is any way at all to come. Ask others to come. Ask them to ask others to come.
Bear witness. Please bear witness. Rather you are in the gap, know someone in the gap, or just think Tennessee can and should be better than this please bear witness. If you can’t come ask someone else to come for you and stand in your stead. Write or call the task force members. Do not let them walk quietly to their end.
Please come. Are poor people not people too and is this not wrong?