Healthcare for All

Every day, we see the failures of a health care system that frustrates the best efforts of caring doctors and other caregivers and that does not meet the needs of many of the state’s most vulnerable.

Access to health care is a moral issue, and at TJC we stand with those who can’t afford the health care they need to thrive. It is our belief that everyone deserves the medical care they need to be healthy.

We often partner with community members who recognize the moral peril of a health care system that does not serve everyone equally. Our brave clients, their families, doctors, and other caregivers are some of our most committed partners in working for a fair health care system. Their stories of difficulty accessing health care for themselves or their loved ones show the need for change.

With our clients’ help, TJC works to put faces on the vulnerable in our communities who cannot access health care. Their stories help policymakers and the general public understand the impact of inadequate health care policy on real people, including our loved ones, friends, and neighbors. They help humanize an abstract discussion about health care issues.

Tennessee’s clergy and religious leaders have also been dedicated partners in working for health care access for all. When Tennessee proposed dramatic cuts to TennCare in 2004 and 2005, religious leaders came out boldly against those cuts. They emphasized the damage those cuts would do to the people in their faith communities.

Now, the state has the opportunity to offer health care coverage to 280,000 Tennesseans through Insure Tennessee. Learn more about Insure Tennessee, and how you can get involved.

If your religious community, small group, or community service organization believes with us that everyone deserves access to the health care, contact us about ways we can partner with you to work for a more just health care system in Tennessee.

We Fight For YOU. Here's How. 

We provide life-changing legal services to individuals.

TJC helps people get needed services through public programs that are supposed to provide medical care and support for vulnerable children and adults. We serve people whose circumstances are extraordinarily difficult and who confront obstacles that – without the aid of the law – are insurmountable. Clients include children suffering from chronic health conditions, mothers unable to access prenatal care, families struggling to get quality nursing home care for elderly relative, and more.

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We offer free trainings and  support to community partners.

TJC helps thousands of health care workers, professionals, and volunteers across Tennessee understand and use complex laws to assist their vulnerable clients. We provide training, resources, and technical assistance to health care providers, social workers, and community groups helping people who have hit a wall in trying to get the care they need. 

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We stand with Tennesseans to hold government accountable.

TJC provides a voice for Tennesseans who lack the power to hold government accountable on their own. TJC is a bridge between them and policy makers, public officials, and healthcare industry leaders. We identify the problems that prevent public programs from working as they should, and we use those insights to fix those problems in a way that makes our health care system fair and just for all.

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TJC has changed the lives of thousands of Tennesseans by ensuring that they have the access to health care that they need. Some of TJC’s accomplishments include:

  • Enforcement of class action protecting nursing home residents from arbitrary eviction.
  • Landmark consumer protections for TennCare patients when HMOs refuse care prescribed by their doctors.
  • Landmark ruling allowed Medicare patients to sue health care companies to enforce federal quality of care standards.
  • Reinstatement of TennCare for more than 100,000 individuals whose coverage had been wrongfully terminated.

Civil Rights

TJC doesn’t stop with healthcare: we are also concerned with the civil rights of Tennesseans, and have succeeded in several important areas:

  • On behalf of immigrants, negotiated reforms of state agency policies to correct violations of the Civil Rights Act.
  • Led national legal effort that opened federal health data to researchers probing the causes of racial disparities in healthcare.
  • Won accommodations for people with disabilities or limited English proficiency during the TennCare eligibility process.
  • Won appeal that mandated desegregation of Tennessee’s nursing homes.

Welfare Reform

Since its founding in 1996, TJC has been successful in several issues concerning welfare:

  • Made welfare reform more humane for children and victims of domestic violence.
  • Influenced the design and implementation of Families First, the state welfare reform program.
  • Preserved health coverage for families in transition from public assistance to work.

Food and Nutrition

Being healthy isn’t just about being able to go to the doctor and get necessary medicine; it also involves having access to healthy food. In the past, TJC has been successful in helping Tennesseans have access to food. We have:

  • Won changes that allow families to receive food stamps without having to sell the car that gets them to work.
  • Streamlined the food stamp application to save the state money and simplify the process for the public.
  • In response to the 2010 floods, persuaded government officials to extend disaster food stamps to more than 1,000 families in 46 counties.