I was raised in Polk County, lived in the same farmhouse my whole childhood, and graduated from the local high school. The old one on "the hill." After college, I moved back and ran the local funeral home for six years and called Polk County home.
In my second career, I traveled most weeks and always missed the landscape and calmness of my Polk County. It truly is one of the most beautiful places on earth to me, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, mountain meadows, hiking trails are all available. This year I moved back to my family farm to run the poultry operation and now get the chance to talk with many neighbors. I realize how many of them are in need of health insurance and may be eligible for help with the cost from the ACA, but don't know any of the details.
My second career revolved around the healthcare industry. I was the director of sales for a web based software company that streamlined the paperwork for medical offices that ordered home medical equipment (home oxygen, CPAP, etc.) During this time it was uncomfortable to see the poor and needy be turned away because of a lack of insurance coverage. Many times it was the charity of the small business owner that allowed them to receive the equipment that potentially saved their life. Expanding our state Medicaid under the ACA will tremendously help this segment of our society. My home county has a high level of poverty, with 40 percent of our residence on government assistant and almost 12 percent unemployment. The ACA will help many people have access to some type of health insurance for the first time.
I have hope that Tennessee will expand our state Medicaid and help the people that I have grown up with in Polk County. I also believe that we must be involved in this process and encourage others to help promote the ACA by contacting our local officials and our state officials and asking them to support this expansion. Access to health care is a real issue for my neighbors, and it is one that has a solution. Let's move forward in a direction that helps us all have a better quality of life.