What are the consequences of the hurried, almost manic effort by the Republicans to repeal the ACA.
How many people live where you live?
In Tennessee there are about 6.5 million people.
There are 6.5 million consequences in Tennessee.
280,000 people have no insurance. They have waited for years for a year that was their year. There was hope that might be this year. It doesn’t look that way now.
I have a friend whose daughter died from a broken toe. The blood cloth she got from the broken toe traveled up her leg and into her lungs, exploded and she died. A tragic unnecessary death.
I have another friend who has the wrong kind of cancer. In Tennessee if you are female and have either breastfeeding or cervical cancer you qualify for Medicaid. She has bladder cancer and lives daily in an agony I can only imagine.
Many more people have found insurance in the ACA marketplace. People who were without access to medical care now have it. In Tennessee hundreds of thousands. Over 20 million nationwide. Lives have been saved. Lives have been redeemed. If the ACA is gone the human consequences will be real, be deadly and in some way touch the corners of every community.
In Tennessee it matters now if you live in a rural community. 13 hospitals have closed. Others are in trouble. A friend told me the story of man in her community that had a heart attack. The ambulance drove by the hospital that had been open but was now closed on the way to the next hospital. He didn’t make it.
On every level, politically, socially, emotionally, financially and morally the death of the ACA will change what kind of state Tennessee is and what kind of country this is to become.
They don’t even know what they want to do instead. Perhaps the political reality has changed. The human reality has not. Our voices need to be loud and we need to know this is about more than the next battle fought but of a war to be fought.
My grandson is two years old. I think someday he may ask you about a time when people were left to die because they were poor. Your child, your grandchildren may ask you. What are we to tell them we did?