Joseph of Signal Mountain, TN

Joseph of Signal Mountain, TN writes:

I was born in Chattanooga and have had the privilege to live in beautiful East Tennessee most of my life.  As one of four kids, my mom and dad worked hard to care for us and provide the best education they could afford, which, on a middle-class income, meant making significant personal sacrifices; but resourcefully they managed it, and my siblings and I were able to pursue our interests and participate with our friends in the Chattanooga community.

As an adult, I have come to understand what a vital role access to medical care has played all my life and for those in my family.  From survival of childhood asthma attacks as a young kid, to appendicitis, to mending a broken leg and later an ACL on the athletic field, to food allergy testing and routine check-ups with my physician – I am basically a walking testament to the indispensable nature of health insurance.  Without coverage, I would be exposed to the type of financial ruin that so many hardworking Tennesseans today confront.  Incredibly, this is the very alarming future my parents may soon face after so many years, since they rely on basic ACA coverage (rather protection) for my 93 year old grandmother with dementia, who would otherwise be too expensive to insure.  I know many more families across the nation are bravely caring for elders with dementia/alzheimers….

Mostly healthy, I was sitting in a hospital room a few years ago having a doctor prescribed test performed.  As I spoke to the medical tech performing the test, she related to me how upsetting it was for her routinely to see patients suffering from grave illness, who were yet unable to afford the tests they needed for treatment.  The ACA has increased access and improved health for many in TN.  Its main flaw: still too many neighbors, loved ones needlessly suffer treatable conditions.

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