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The Real Cost of Inadequate Healthcare

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

Conchata Eastwood, a resident of East Nashville and a mother of three, ages 14, 16, and 4, shared her family's health challenges with TJC. All three of her children are grappling with ADD and ADHD, with her middle child also battling bipolar disorder. When asked about how the absence of healthcare has impacted her and her children, Eastwood explained that her kids were covered by health insurance, but she was currently struggling with her son's insurance. The situation left her feeling stressed and anxious, as there was a potential threat of her going to jail.

She went on to describe the ordeal that led to this distressing situation. Following a car accident, she contacted her insurance company, but the experience was far from smooth. The agent she spoke to didn't seem knowledgeable, and despite initially reassuring her that there would be no issues, Eastwood received a notice to appear in court months later, which she couldn't attend due to a lack of resources and support.

Eastwood had never needed specialized medical care or struggled to obtain necessary medications for herself or her children. When asked about her feelings regarding comprehensive health coverage, she expressed a desire for peace of mind. The ability to see a doctor without fear of receiving a hefty bill in the mail or losing insurance cards would be life-changing.

Additionally, she emphasized the financial relief that comprehensive health coverage could bring. “No more copays $0.00 copays which means we could save more money that would be everything.” Eastwood says.

Eastwood has never worked at a job that offered health insurance. She went on to explain, “I’ve never been in a position to get that opportunity to get health insurance. I always get dead end low pay jobs and stuff that ain't really about nothing. They'd have no benefits, nothing to offer as far as medical and then I did have one job but they only wanted to offer dental. I need vision because I can't see as close to me as you are you're still blurry. My vision is horrible people wave at me from across the yard and I can't even see who it is most time I don’t even see them wave. I just keep on going. They be like I waved at you you didn’t see me.. no, lot of people don't realize I am pretty well almost blind.”

Conchata Eastwood conveyed the need for comprehensive coverage, including vision, dental, surgeries, and prescription medications. Her story highlights the necessity for a system that would protect and cover everyone, addressing the pressing healthcare challenges faced by families like hers.

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