Coverage Matters.

For over 50 years, public health programs have been a bedrock for our nation’s health care coverage. In Tennessee, half of both our children and our nursing home residents are covered by TennCare.

But that coverage, and more, is at risk.

When people have access to health care coverage,

they do better. 

 

That's a fact that's been proven over and over again. However, in the next few years, there will be attacks on these bi-partisan bedrocks of health coverage through attempts to pass block grants that will drastically cut our health care funding, as well as take away the protections that our residents currently have. 

These changes will create upheaval in our health care system unlike any that we’ve seen in decades, and will affect TennCare, Medicare, the Marketplace, and every single person who has private insurance. 

In the days to come, we must make sure that the millions individuals and families in Tennessee who benefit from programs that are at risk do not lose their coverage. We will stand with our clients for affordable, quality health care, and we invite you to join us by taking action. Our health is at stake.


Upcoming threats to Medicaid

 

The National Association of [State] Medicaid Directors, a majority of whom work for Republican Governors, issued a statement in December that warns:

Medicaid’s role in the health care system must be understood and appreciated to prevent serious unintended consequences for the oldest, frailest and most medically complex Americans. Therefore, any substantive changes to Medicaid’s financing structure must be done in close consideration of the complex and interconnected web of statutory and regulatory requirements. Failure to do so could expose states to the greatest inter-governmental transfer of financial risk in the country’s history.

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Who would be affected by changes?

The stories below are people whose health insurance is at risk in the coming years. The changes that may be coming not only put them at risk, but damage their families and their communities as well. Do you have a story to tell? Click here to share it.

Judy Gallagher Square

Judy Gallagher

March 10, 2017

Judy was let go unexpectedly and found the Affordable Care Act was the only way for her to get coverage. Because of the ACA, she is able to continue seeing her doctor and getting affordable preventative care.

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Sonya Weber Square

Sonya Weber

March 2, 2017

Sonya lost her insurance when her husband died and she could no longer afford it alone. She stopped getting preventative care because she could not pay for it. When the Affordable Care Act was passed, she was able to start getting treatment for her thyroid condition again.

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James Mosley Square

James Mosley

March 2, 2017

James used to worry about his uninsured daughter until the Affordable Care Act came around. After going uninsured and being full of worry for almost a year, she was finally able to get an affordable plan.

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Jodi Bartlett

Jodi Bartlett

March 2, 2017

After decades of frequent kidney stones, Jodi became very sick and was diagnosed with medullary sponge disease. She has had a very successful career in emergency mental health but now that she has stopped working due to her illness, she relies on Obamacare to stay covered. Without it, she would die.

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Kerry Reed

Kerry Reed

March 2, 2017

Kerry is a single mother of three. After discovering a severe allergy, she was cut from her insurance. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Kerry was able to get covered again just in time to help her manage with diseases she has newly been diagnosed with.

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Kathryn Corley Square

Kathryn Corley

February 24, 2017

Kathryn is a mother of four children, two with special health care needs. Even though they have always diligently paid for their insurance, the Corley family was denied coverage for essential services. The Affordable Care Act made it illegal for insurance companies to continue denying life-saving care to Kathryn’s children.

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Carolyn Christopher

Dede Christopher

February 24, 2017

Dede is an architectural illustrator, small business owner, and mother of two kids. The Affordable Care Act has made her business insurance options diverse, allowed her children to stay on her insurance until 26, and given her preventative coverage for cancer screenings, among other things.

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Ellen Bloomfield Square

Ellen Bloomfield

February 24, 2017

Ellen and her husband own a small business in Nashville. Because of the Affordable Care Act, they have been able to provide health insurance for all of their employees. Losing the Affordable Care Act will devastate their business and employees.

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Kathy Miller Square

Kathy Miller

February 24, 2017

Kathy is a Vanderbilt alumnus working as a mental health therapist. She lost her heath insurance in 2013 because it was too expensive and, as a result, developed cancer. After she got insurance through the federal marketplace, she was able to get life-saving surgery to remove her cancer.

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Abby Wintker Burris Square

Abby Wintker Burris

February 24, 2017
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Glenn Schaefer Square

Glenn Schaefer

February 23, 2017

Glenn saw his entire life fall apart, but because of the Affordable Care Act he was able to piece it back together. Now he is a self-employed small business owner and pursuing his PhD.

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Carol Fontenot Square

Carol Fontenot

February 23, 2017

Before The Affordable Care Act, Carol couldn’t get health insurance unless her employer offered it. Her diabetes treatment includes really expensive medications that would be unaffordable as an out-of-pocket cost. She will be in serious trouble if the ACA is repealed.

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Debra Pointer Square

Debra Pointer

February 23, 2017

Debra lost her job when her high blood pressure started causing more problems. Because she couldn’t work, she couldn’t afford treatment. Eventually, she was able to get coverage through the federal marketplace and her health improved enough to work again.

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Marlene Taylor Square

Marlene Taylor

February 23, 2017

Marlene is a writer and former nurse who has benefited tremendously from the Affordable Care Act. She tried to retire from nursing and transition to being a writer from home but wasn’t able to get insurance. The ACA made it possible for her to retire and still remain covered.

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Molly Mann Square

Molly Mann

February 23, 2017

Before the Affordable Care Act, Molly and her husband struggled to find an insurance plan that would cover her husband’s pre-existing condition. The ACA made it possible to get a good, affordable plan.

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Therese Tuley Square

Therese Tuley

February 23, 2017

Therese just retired to Chattanooga in 2014. She has been thankful for the Affordable Care Act because her pre-existing conditions would have prevented her from good care otherwise. The ACA has also allowed Therese’s daughter to stay insured on their family plan until 26.

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Benkert

Lillian Benkert

February 23, 2017

Lillian has a heart condition as well as autism. Her medical bills have been tremendous and would reach a life-time cap if it weren’t for the Affordable Care Act. It is terrifying to think about what would happen if there was no way to insure her.

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DeeDee Alexander Square

Deedee Alexander

February 23, 2017

Deedee was born with medical conditions that continue to require treatment. She worries about how she will get insurance if the Affordable Care Act is repealed and whether or not she’ll be able to pay for her medical care.

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J Nathan Higdon 3

Nathan Higdon

February 22, 2017

Nathan is a 38 year old PhD student studying Business Administration. He has a degenerative joint disease that requires constant monitoring and preventative care. The Affordable Care Act needs some tweaking, but for Nathan it has made all the difference.

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June Caine

June Caine

February 21, 2017

June used to pay for a COBRA insurance plan that quickly became too expensive. If it weren’t for the Affordable Care Act, she wouldn’t be able to get regular cancer screenings or treatment for her autoimmune disease.

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Andy Doerschuk Square

Andy Doerschuk

February 20, 2017

Andy suffers from spinal stenosis which has effectively disabled him. His condition has increasingly demanding medical costs that would be impossible to afford without help like the Affordable Care Act provides.

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Martha McGowan

Martha McGowan

February 20, 2017

Martha has worked hard for her entire life. After losing her job, she couldn’t afford to pay for medical expenses and ended up sick in the hospital. Now that the Affordable Care Act is around, she has gotten back on her feet and is healthy again. Repealing the ACA is a matter of life and death for people like her.

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Paula Helene Square

Paula Helene

February 20, 2017

Paula and her friend John have both seen the Affordable Care Act do wonders in their lives. From getting cancer treatment to stabilizing financials, they know how Obamacare can keep people on their feet.

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Kitty Manscill Square

Kitty Manscill

February 20, 2017

Kitty Manscill had to spend a lot of money to make sure that her son was insured before the Affordable Care Act. Now that he has access to affordable insurance, she no longer has to keep worrying about him.

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Diane McCarter Square

Diane McCarter

February 20, 2017

Before the Affordable Care Act, Diane’s illnesses cost her entire life savings. Medical bills consumed her entire life. She hopes that the ACA will not be repealed so that her children never have to go through that.

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Melinda Dyer

Melinda Dyer

February 20, 2017

Melinda was unlucky enough to breathe in toxic spores and get sick. If it weren’t for the Affordable Care Act, she would face huge barriers to have her condition treated. Why should something that was not even remotely her fault disqualify her from getting help?

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Juliet Johnson Square

Juliet Johnson

February 20, 2017

Juliet and her boyfriend moved to Tennessee to start a software company. When they were looking for insurance, the only affordable plans around were offered through the federal marketplace. If the Affordable Care Act is dissolved, insurance will be far too expensive again.

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John Reed Square

John Reed

February 20, 2017

John is a musician who has lived through a host of different health problems. Before the Affordable Care Act, he accumulated debt from an accident. However, after getting covered he was able to get treatment for kidney cancer and because of that he is now in remission. John has experienced life before and after the ACA and knows how much better things are because of it.

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Brynda Quinn

Brynda Quinn

February 20, 2017

Brynda has always dreamed of starting her own psychology clinic and because of the Affordable Care Act, that dream has come true. The ability to get affordable and quality insurance means that Brynda has been able to help hundreds of patients. If the ACA is taken away, all of those patients will be at risk.

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Scaperoth, Deborah Photo

Deborah Scaperoth

February 20, 2017

Deborah lost her brother, Gary, in a tragic car accident back in 2003. Until the Affordable Care Act, Gary’s wife struggled with bad hips that disabled her. Having coverage through the federal marketplace made it possible to get her hips fixed so that she could live her life and raise her three children the way she wants to.

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Nina Howell Square

Nina Howell

February 17, 2017

Nina is a breast cancer survivor who started a nonprofit for other breast cancer survivors. She is scared of what the repeal of the Affordable Care Act will mean for herself and the women that she works with. She doesn’t want anyone, especially people with cancer, to fear that their insurance will disappear.

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Julie Edmondson Square

Julie Edmondson

February 17, 2017

Julie lives with an unruptured brain aneurysm which before the Affordable Care Act disqualified her from insurance. Obamacare has given her peace of mind and the threat of having that taken away is terrifying.

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Debra Smith Square

Debra Smith

February 17, 2017

Debra Smith is a microbiologist who has experienced firsthand how scary life-time caps are. Before the Affordable Care Act, she was terrified that she wouldn’t be able to afford her medical bills anymore. Obamacare saved her from bankruptcy.

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April Cook Square

April Cook

February 17, 2017

April Cook is a retired nurse and has seen the Affordable Care Act save a lot of people, including herself. She had thyroid cancer 20 years ago and relies on the removal of life-time limits on insurance to stay covered for her routine follow-up cancer screenings.

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Linda Barber Square

Linda Barber

February 17, 2017

Linda Barber used to see her premiums going up every year. Now that the Affordable Care Act is in place, she has seen a drastic drop in her insurance costs. She worries that if the ACA is repealed then she won’t have enough money saved to retire.

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Joyce Richter Square

Joyce Richter

February 16, 2017

Joyce used to pay for medical bills out of pocket because insurance was so expensive. When her family got insurance through her husband’s employer, she realized the importance of coverage. The Affordable Care Act became the foundation for affordable insurance and peace of mind when she moved to Tennessee.

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Rae Jones

Rae Jones

February 10, 2017

Rae Jones used to spend too much on her insurance plan to get the healthcare that she needed. The Affordable Care Act has allowed her the freedom to make decisions that are no longer restrained by fear of bills.

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Amber Sherman Square

Amber Sherman

February 9, 2017

Amber recently graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin with degrees in political science and legal studies. If the ACA were to be dismantled, the cost of treating her neurological disease would mean that her dream of going to law school would not come to fruition.

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Madelyn Cousin Square

Madelyn Cousin

January 31, 2017

Madelyn Cousin works full-time as well as volunteering with First Things First. She suffers from diabetes and cancer but thanks to the Affordable Care Act she has been able to get the treatment she needs. If it weren’t for the ACA, it would have been far too expensive to visit a doctor.

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Bettye Barnes Square

Bettye Barnes

January 30, 2017

Bettye Barnes watched as her son suffered through the aftermath of a stroke. If it weren’t for the Affordable Care Act, he would never have been able to get the treatments that are helping him recover.

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Derek Douglas

Derek Douglas

January 30, 2017

Derek is extremely active in volunteer work for his community. He also happens to have polycystic kidney disease which used to make getting insurance impossible. Now that the affordable care act is in place, Derek has been able to get life-saving treatments.

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Lynne Farrar

Lynne Farrar

January 30, 2017

Lynne Farrar has experienced firsthand how difficult it was to find insurance before the Affordable Care Act. Now that she has insurance from the marketplace, she is healthy enough to continue her nonprofit work of helping abused children.

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Michael Kukler Square

Michael Kukler

January 27, 2017

Michael Kukler doesn’t have insurance through his job–though he’s worked in the grocery business for 40 years. When he needed a hip replacement, he had to rely on charitable service. But now, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, he is able to pay for his own health coverage.

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Sarah Noles Square

Sarah Noles

January 27, 2017

Sarah Noles worked her whole life and ended up sick and in the coverage gap. She moved to Michigan to get coverage until she could afford to get health insurance through Obamacare.

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Robin Pearman Square

Robin Pearman

January 27, 2017

Robin Pearman is 62 and soon to retire to take care of her aging father. She didn’t know how she was going to be able to afford health insurance, until she enrolled in the Obamacare Marketplace. “I was almost in tears when [I learned] how affordable the plan was,” Robin said. “I was tickled to death. I’m so very grateful.”

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Deona Thomas Square

Deona Thomas

January 27, 2017

As a private piano teacher, Deona’s income isn’t much, and her health insurance was costing her nearly 10% of that income. But thanks to Obamacare, she can now comfortably afford coverage and focus more on the things that mean most to her.

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Katherleen Wooten Square

Katherleen Wooten

January 27, 2017

In 2012, Katherleen Wooten was infected with an extremely dangerous virus. She became very ill and lost muscle control of her arms and legs. Without Medicaid, she would not have been able to afford her treatment. TennCare saved her from disaster.

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Tim and Marjorie Riley

Marjorie and Tim Riley

January 23, 2017

Tim and Marjorie Riley depend on the help that the affordable care act provides them. Without it, Marjorie would not be able to treat her multiple sclerosis and their family would go bankrupt again. Having coverage means Tim and Marjorie are able to stay healthy and serve their community with their active volunteering.

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Jill Hodges Squares

Jill Hodges

January 23, 2017

Jill Hodges and her husband, Stephen, live in rural East Tennessee. Both of them have needed emergency surgeries that would have cost them their farm had it not been for their marketplace insurance. The Affordable Care Act has not only saved their lives, but it has saved them their home.

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Johnnie Dunn Square

Johnnie Dunn

January 23, 2017

Johnnie Dunn is fighting hard against her lung cancer thanks to the affordable care act. Having coverage means she has a chance to live and defy her disease.

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