In 32.5 hours I will no longer be in the coverage gap in Tennessee.   After over 8 years without insurance I finally will be covered.   Medicaire will kick in.   I will have outlived the bastards. 

Too many haven’t. 

And unless something is done there are still others that won’t make it. 

Sickness,  particularly life threatening illness,  knows no legislative session or committee meetings.   It listens to no political party.   It just simply is. 

I have met so many people who have lived such desperate lives and sometimes I don’t know how to explain that desperation to someone who has never lived it before. There are people who have just ran out of wait. The last two legislative sessions have been profound injury to many people I know. Someone told me she just hated to be told that there was hope because the disappointment afterward was like assault and injury. She asked me how she could tell people who told her to hang in there that things just took time that she didn’t know if she had anymore and that she had hung as far as she could hang.

One of the things I have found in life that the things we will do if we can afford to rarely if ever get done. The things we feel like we can’t afford to not do somehow become reality. The same thing has happened with expansion. We have spent endless times debating practicality with people who only want to debate and find excuses why they can’t do what they could chose to do if they only would. We have literally spent hours and hours trying to justify the idea that we can save lives and end needless suffering of people who without our help have no where to go and that is a no brainer worthwhile essential thing to do. In the Bible belt of the nation, where you can hear endless sermons about the Good Samaritan and loving your neighbors, the leaders of our state have actually debated whether or not they can afford to help our neighbors.

One of my most vivid memories was sitting in a Senate committee meeting with the chairman starting off by admonishing the audience to please respect the dignity of the Senate. They then proceeded to kill Insure Tennessee in seven or eight minutes, asking no questions, making no comments and then doing what they had decided to do long before the meeting to decide what to do was ever called to order. Seldom has dignity seemed like such a 4 letter word.

I had thought this would be a very joyous day but it really hasn’t been. There are a lot of regrets. Many things in my life have been lost or forever altered in the last years. I wish there was a way to loan out my insurance to friends in crisis from time to time. I am glad the day is here but I could have waited for a while if I had to if it meant giving someone out of wait a little more time.

The year ahead is going to be very uncertain. There is a plan to bring care to everyone but there are still many obstacles and many battles to fight. No one counts chickens any more. It will be done when it is done.

I remember a scene in a war movie I saw once. The officer told his men. “Remember regardless of what happens we leave no one behind.”

No one behind. I hope you will join the battles and help fight the war.



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