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.

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.

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

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

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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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

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

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

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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Patricia Allison

Patricia Allison

January 20, 2017

Patricia worked hard to graduate college and secure a job with the state of Tennessee. When her Hepatitis C became debilitating, she had to quit her job and leave behind her former insurance. If it weren’t for the ACA, she would not have been able to find an affordable plan that would cover her preexisting condition.

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Mr Powell

Stephen Powell

January 20, 2017

Stephen worked at the waste water treatment plant in Chattanooga, his home town since graduating from college. Some time later, his wife was diagnosed with a rare genetic neurological disease. The ACA was essential in keeping his own heart problem in check so that he could retire early and take care of his wife until her passing.

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Vickie Jackson

Vickie Jackson

January 20, 2017

Vickie Jackson is a mother of five and a student working towards her bachelor’s degree in health science. She knows how important the affordable care act is for keeping people healthy and financially stable.

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andrea-gannon

Andrea Gannon

January 20, 2017

Andrea is a new teacher who is committed to volunteering with local reading programs. Thanks to the ACA, she was able to stay on her parent’s insurance until she turned 26 which meant having help taking care of her autoimmune disease. Repealing the ACA would be devastating to her medical care.

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paula-hurt

Paula Hurt

January 19, 2017

Paula Hurt went into surgery unsure what was causing her symptoms. She came out of surgery with a cancer diagnosis. While in surgery, her coverage was cut, and the only other plan she and her husband could find cost $2200 a month, and it didn’t even cover her chemotherapy. But then came President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. “The ACA was a God-send,” Paula said, “[It] saved my life.”

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Sarah Gaines

January 11, 2017

Sarah Gaines teaches preschool and provides help to many children with learning disabilities. She is able to do this amazing work because she is covered by Medicaid.

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Lisa Barker

January 11, 2017

Lisa Barker used to struggle to pay for her insurance to cover her chronic pain and fatigue. When she got coverage through the federal marketplace, she could finally stop worrying about her bills. The threat of losing her newfound insurance “scares her to death.”

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Susan Fortner

January 11, 2017

Susan Fortner, a single mother of three, used to worry constantly about her daughter’s seemingly incurable urinary problems. Having to pay out of pocket was quickly becoming a problem. When Susan finally got marketplace insurance for her family, her daughter was able to see a specialist and get her condition under control.

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Christopher Vannoy

January 11, 2017

Christopher Vannoy is a student whose only option for health coverage was through the marketplace. If it weren’t for the affordable care act, he would not be able to get any preventative medicine to prevent expensive bills down the road.

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Earl Manier

Earl Manier

December 27, 2016

Earl Manier was injured at work moving pallets on a tractor trailer. His health insurance premium skyrocketed, and he had to find something more affordable. Then the Affordable Care Act became law, and Earl got a plan. “This health insurance of President Obama saved me from losing every thing my wife and I had,” he said.

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James Bandy

December 21, 2016

In December 2015, James Bandy was able to retire. But that also meant he lost health coverage. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, James was able to purchase a low-cost plan on the Marketplace. “If anything happens to my coverage, I couldn’t go the doctor like I need to. Couldn’t afford it … In my opinion, the Affordable Care Act is the best thing that’s ever happened for the poor guy that couldn’t afford insurance. I know a lot of people that have insurance now that didn’t go to the doctor before cause they didn’t have insurance.”

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Tommie Lee and Vicki Burney

December 15, 2016

Vicki is really all the family her aunt Tommie has left. After Tommie’s husband died, Vicki has been her primary caretaker. But without TennCare, Vicki wouldn’t be able to afford the care Tommie needs. “If TC hadn’t of stepped in, I mean, we wouldn’t have let [Tommie] go to the streets, but I couldn’t take care of her. I don’t know where she would be without TennCare.”

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Lauren and Riza Ritter

December 14, 2016

Lauren is wheelchair bound and has had 29 surgeries in her 16 years of life. TennCare provides her with round-the-clock nursing care, allowing her single mom to earn a living outside the home. “I wouldn’t be this far without TennCare’s help,” she said.

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Antonio Lopez

December 13, 2016

Antonio Lopez was 42 when he got an affordable health insurance plan on the Obamacare Marketplace. One month later, his heart failed, and he needed life saving surgery. “The insurance card I had in my wallet,” he said, “was my ticket to receiving life-saving heart valve replacement surgery.”

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Don Adams

December 12, 2016

Don Adams is disabled. All his doctors say so. He’s got diabetes, spinal stenosis, and he’s had five heart attacks. For a time, he couldn’t get health insurance, and his health care bills piled up. But finally, he was approved for TennCare, a change his wife Penny says “saved him.”

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Nicolas Torres-Lopez

December 8, 2016

“My name is Nicolas Torres-Lopez. I am 15 years old, and I am alive today because I was insured.”

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Mary and Lewella Woods

December 7, 2016

Lewella Woods had a stroke at 15 months old. Ever since, she’s needed constant care. Now 56, TennCare gives her the medical assistance she needs to survive. Her sister Mary is grateful. She knows how much #coveragematters because without it, “life would just be a struggle.”

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The Lyons-Winford Family

December 6, 2016

Kathy and Linda adopted four of the foster children that came into their home, each of whom had suffered neglect and abuse. They can testify to how much #coveragematters; without TennCare, they would never have been able to offer these children their home.

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Jim Shannon

November 30, 2016

Thanks to TennCare, Jim Shannon may be one of the only nonverbal quadriplegics in the country working a full-time job.

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