By Peter White
NASHVILLE, TN – Health care advocates met outside the office of Attorney General Herbert Slatery III last Friday to deliver hundreds of letters from Tennesseans who want the AG to withdraw from a federal lawsuit to have Obamacare declared unconstitutional. That would put 2.7 million Tennesseans at risk because they have a pre-existing medical condition.
Four speakers stood on the Legislative Plaza exactly one year after Arizona Senator John McCain dramatically gave a “thumbs down” vote to the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The ACA is President Obama’s signature healthcare law which protects people with pre-existing conditions and subsidizes low-income residents who can’t afford health insurance.
Andy Spear from Tennessee Citizen Action introduced each speaker and noted Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) does not agree with the AG’s decision to bring suit in federal court against the ACA.
Dr. Thomas Phelps, a family physician from Tullahoma, explained how health insurance works and said that a healthcare system that doesn’t cover people with chronic illnesses or pre-existing conditions makes no sense and is immoral.
Kelly Gregory, a former Air Force intelligence officer said she has a genetic blood disorder that caused several heart attacks when she was in her thirties. She couldn’t get health insurance because of her condition. She later developed breast cancer and almost died.
Anna Carella, Co-Director of Healthy and Free Tennessee, an advocacy group supporting women’s health, read from the Open Letter delivered to the AG’s office Friday. She talked about health disparities between women and men without the ACA.
Reverend Eugene Se’Bree from Jefferson St. Missionary Baptist Church, quoted the Bible to call out people who do not give comfort to the poor and aid to the sick.
Their complete remarks can be viewed on the Tennessee Tribune’s website. (Click link)