The second letter: Tennessee Taxes

Dear legislator:

This is my second letter to you.

It is about taxes.  Taxes are a big deal in Tennessee.  Using those funds in the most responsible way possible is an even bigger deal.  One of the guiding principles might be Tennessee taxes should be used to the maximum benefit of Tennesseans.  Seems simple…..but….

We havent been doing that.  $2.7 million dollars of Tennessee money a day has been going to other states as a result of not taking the federal money for expansion.  The result has been a hospital system under financial attack, particularly in rural or small town areas.  Hospitals have closed.  More are in danger.  The overall quality of care for thousands of Tennesseans has been in danger.  Tennessee money, Tennessee value has not been going to Tennessee.

The most hurtful thing has not even been the economic cost, but the human cost.  It is not just that the money hasnt gone to Tennessee.  The money has not gone to Tennesseans.  People who could have gotten care, vital and needed care, in their most needed and scary moments have not gotten it.

Insure Tennessee takes Tennessee taxes and puts it towards Tennesseans.  That should be enough said.  But add one more thing.  “at no cost to the Tennessee budget.  Not one penny of state funds.”

Like every Tennessean I would like to see the taxes I pay- all the taxes I pay- go to make my life and the lives of other Tennesseans better.  

Please support Insure Tennessee.  Support Governor Haslam.  It is the right thing to do.

Until next time.

Yours truly,

Larry Drain

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The First Letter: Insure Tennessee

Dear legislator:

My name is Larry Drain.  This is the first in a series of letters you will be receiving from me. I write as an individual private citizen and I hope that is okay. One of the things I have believed for a long time is that too long the voice of ordinary people go unheard. The real value of Tennessee is in her people and my hope is that in raising my voice other people will raise theirs. We are stronger and better when all people speak and all are heard.

Largely my topics wil be about what seems important to me to help this state become a better place for all its citizens to live in. A primary concern will be health care. Bottom line I believe a state that treats the health of its citizens important is a state that treats its citizens important.

Two days ago Governor Haslam unveiled his “Insure Tennessee” plan. I urge you to first learn about it, consider it, talk with your constituents about it and finally I hope support it. There has been a great and polarizing debate in this state about health care reform. His plan is a way to step past that polarization and to act in a way that gives the citizens of Tennessee access to quality health care in a way that respects the financial fears many have and that in the long run can only act to make us a more productive state and people.

In coming letters I will lay out why I feel as strongly as I do. I want to close though with some thoughts on one statistic.

According to the Governor 410,689 people would be eligible for Insure Tennessee benefits that right now have little or no access to health care and without one penny being taken out of the Tennessee budget over the next 2 years. Think for a minute what the associated costs of that many people with no health care must be: the human cost, the social cost, the financial cost and the moral cost. Think about the benefits vs. costs. Think about the costs of doing nothing. And to what benefit. ….not one penny out of the state budget

410,689 people would be, if I am correct, if they lived in the same place the third largest city in Tennessee. Imagine the 3rd largest city in this state with every man, woman, and child with no access to effective health care. Imagine the misery, the death, the pain, the suffering, the disaster of such a thing.

That is the task before you. I ask you to support Insure Tennessee. 410,689 people ask you. The third largest city in this state asks you.

It needs to be done.

This plan offers a way to do it.

It is a practical plan that respects the values and priorities of this state.

You can be part of making it happen.

Please support Insure Tennessee.

Until next time.

Yours truly,

Larry Drain
Maryvillle, Tennessee