Updated: Oct 16
Jordyn Vanatta, a Nashville resident, shared her experiences and struggles with the lack of healthcare coverage in a recent interview. She revealed that she has a five-month-old daughter and is grappling with various health issues, primarily related to her vision and dentistry. Jordyn, who is legally blind, explained, "I can't see like barely at all... my contacts barely work, and I can never get an appointment to even get glasses." In addition, her dental problems, stemming from her wisdom teeth pushing her other teeth forward, have caused persistent pain. When asked about the physical and emotional toll of her health challenges, she admitted, “There's no type of meds you can take that makes it go away. I'm allergic to Tylenol so yeah, it's pretty bad pain and then not being able to see to constantly run into things you can't read it's awful. The pain gets to me sometimes yeah, the pain is really my main issue it hurts and then there's nothing you can do because you can't find appointments, you can't do anything to try to help the pain go away.”
Jordyn highlighted the difficulties in accessing specialist care and noted her inability to find an eye specialist despite the need. Although she does not currently require specific medications, the absence of comprehensive health coverage has severely impacted her quality of life. If she had access to comprehensive health coverage, she emphasized the relief it would bring to her daily life, saying, "I wouldn't have to worry about my health at all, and I would be able to see."
Financial concerns also play a significant role in her experience, as she mentioned the financial burden of seeking specialists who often don't accept her insurance. Jordyn described the hardship of paying out of pocket for necessary care, which can cost thousands of dollars. She expressed a desire for elected officials to understand the pain and challenges she's faced, especially in relation to her dental health, and stressed the importance of Medicaid expansion in Tennessee. “I would like them to know that the pain that I've gone through especially with my teeth, I wouldn't want anybody else to go through, so it's definitely needed and for the simple fact that we are already low-income people and we still don't have help that's another problem on its own. Especially since we need help as it is, I feel like any type of insurance whether it's visual dentistry from healthcare it should be provided anyways, because I mean that's what we need to live, that's what we need to be helping to survive.” Jordyn pleaded.