Debra Haithcock

Ms. Debra Haithcock reached out to the Tennessee Justice Center to express her concern over the proposed TennCare III block grant waiver in Tennessee. She has a 33-year-old son that will be turning 34 years old soon, who mentally functions as someone less than five years old. He is nonverbal and has cerebral palsy, autism, and retardation. He is currently in the best place that he has ever been, in a phenomenal living situation with great staffing 24 hours a day, and Ms. Haithcock is fearful for her son’s life should the TennCare III proposal take effect.

Ms. Haithcock’s son suffers from seizures. When he has had housemates move in in the past, his seizure activity and feeding problems became much worse. He is on a Medicaid waiver program, and he now lives in supportive housing. He has been living at Stars in Bledsoe County for the past 5 years, and Ms. Haithcock says that his seizure activity has dropped by about 90% since he moved there and that he is much happier there. She worries that with the block grant, “the whole structure of his care will be disrupted.” She is worried that her son will be placed in a house with people with violent behaviors that will have a negative effect on his health. She fears that her son’s “whole life will be disrupted in a way detrimental to him.”

Ms. Haithcock has tried contacting her lawmakers about her concerns and has been very disappointed with their responses. She shared that now her lawmakers don’t even follow up with her – they just ignore her when she reaches out to them. She believes that “it’s always about the money” for her lawmakers, and she is disappointed that they will not stand up and do the right thing to ensure that the healthcare of people like her son is protected. Ms. Haithcock will continue advocating for her son and speaking out against the TennCare block gran, because she realizes how harmful it could be for her son and for many others in the state.

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