If you have read this blog much in the past you have read the story of Tracy Foster. She has cancer of the wrong spot (cervical and breast cancer are covered by Tenn Care. Tracy has bladder cancer. If she was a member of your family, your neighbor, your friend what would you say about a system that defines some cancers as worth helping and others as death?). And she lives in a state which quite honestly doesn’t care if she had cancer or not.
I remember during the initial hearings on Insure Tennessee standing in the hallway at the legislative plaza when the Senate committee after an exhaustive 10 minute hearing turned down Insure. She turned to me tears in her eyes and put her arms around me. “Larry does this mean I am going to die?”
Their actions horrified a hospital so badly that they agreed to provide Tracy with some of the care she needed. She still must pay for the (expensive) medication she needs to survive. She still must find a way to get there (she lives a hundred miles away from the hospital) and that just begins to touch the expenses she has.
One of the things you never Tracy complain about is that because of all this she has become homeless. Medicine must come first. The only thing that keeps her from living on the road is the kindness of her sister and some friends. I can’t help but wonder how many other people face similar choices.
Tracy Foster is a hero. That word has become a nonsense syllable in a climate that says heroism is taking the risk to develop a health care reform plan based on “conservative principles.” So many people talk about “fighting for their life.” Tracy is. And she does so every day despite the terror of not knowing what is next, the daily trial of overwhelming pain, and the uncertainty of rather or not tomorrow will even bring another day.
Tracy Foster is an honor to Tennessee. That there are God knows how many Tracy Foster’s out there is a mark of extraordinary shame on the soul of this state.
If you want to explain why the speakers task force looks to be little more than an obscene joke two words: Tracy Foster…..
Charity clinics….. They seem to love them and it looks like they will (if the task force has its way) become the new insurance. You want to take a wild guess how relevant charity clinics are to the care of Tracy Foster. People need hospitals. They need specialists. They need surgery. They need insurance.
Phase in…. The task force wants to phase in whatever they plan to do with smaller groups. They are talking about serving those with mental illness first. Tracy will not even qualify. What kind of sense, what kind of humanity, what kind of decency is that?
Skin in the game…. They are great ones for skin in the game. If they had a much skin in the game as Tracy Foster 280,000 people would have health insurance right now.
Tracy is finally going to have an operation on June 7. She has waited a long time. It is a dangerous surgery. Here are Tracy’s words:
“I go to Vanderbilt June 7th for bladder surgery consultation, this has been a long time coming & I’m praying they’ll remove cancer tumors while they have me under anesthesia. I’ll be in the hospital for a week minimum & recovery will be several weeks. I’ll most likely have to make several trips before surgery for pre-testing, blood work etc. I’m honestly sorry I have to share this to ask for help, but it’s my only means of living. I feel like I’m stuck in a nightmare & just wanna wake up not be sick & hurting. Thank you all for your prayers, love, support & encouragement. Please share this & keep praying for my disability approval so maybe this can soon be over.
God bless you all ♡♡♡
Her insurance company is gofundme and it only works with your help. Many people can’t help and that is fine. Share this post as widely as possibly. Maybe someone you share it with can.
And while you are at it please share this post with your legislators. Everyone should know her name.
I always thought a conservative principle was to take care of your neighbor. Tracy is our neighbor. There are 280,000 neighbors. Isn’t it about time we rise above political expediency and confront the moral challenge we face.
If we turn our back on all the Tracy Foster’s do we not turn our back on what is best in us? Contact your legislator. Tell him it is time to move forward and get our head out of the sand.
Please help Tracy Foster if you can and loudly and persistently tell your legislator it is time to help all the Tracy Foster’s.