Expansion Of Medicaid Helps The Working Poor - And Response

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I'm a retired primary care doctor with my own disease - lupus. I am grateful that Medicare exists for me. I had two medical "lives" in Chattanooga. One was my private office, where the only folks who came in had some form of insurance, be it private, Medicare or Medicaid. The other was at the community health centers, where we cared for those who had no insurance or couldn't afford expensive co-pays or needed the other services offered at the centers.  

I was exposed repeatedly to lovely people whose work lives ended prematurely because they hadn't received proper care. Preventive care like you get when you have decent health insurance finds and treats a multitude of problems before they make you disabled. You control the high blood pressure and prevent the stroke; you diagnose the diabetes before it leads to an early heart attack; you treat common infections before they spread. 

The inexpensive, smart way to keep people healthy and working - get them preventive care, teach them to care for themselves, treat problems early. With the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) we have a chance to do that-have affordable, responsible insurance. Expansion of our Medicaid with the federal funds available would do that for 600,000 more of the working poor in Tennessee. I hope Governor Haslam will take the long view and make this commitment for our people. 

Essie Woods Bruell
Chattanooga 

* * * 

It is very refreshing to see physicians championing the efforts of the Affordable Care Act and what it can mean for underserved patients. After working as an oncology nurse for several years and now as a wound care nurse I have also seen firsthand what a lack of decent medical and preventive care can do to people.  

Watching a 37-year-old woman be discharged home with Hospice care for cervical cancer that might not have ended her life had she had preventive care is an image that will stay with me forever. Witnessing the death of someone young from malignant melanoma that might not have happened had they been screened and educated is also something I will never forget.  

In my current practice I see countless patients with chronic, non-healing wounds all because of other diseases like diabetes, congestive heart failure and vascular disease that weren't managed for a variety of reasons but most of which are lack of insurance, money and education. 

The Affordable Care Act may not be a perfect solution to our country's healthcare dilemma but it is a start. I hope that I continue to see others like these physicians and myself who show support for the possibility of a positive change. These physicians are on the front lines and first-hand knowledge of the workings of our healthcare system. Their input and experience is invaluable. 

Holly Tallant


Wine And Gun Laws On July 1

Yay! We can buy wine at Wal-Mart! That's a huge step forward in the Tennessee vice world and we are all looking forward to 8 a.m. tomorrow when we don't have to go to a store where we might be seen by someone with whom we will share a pew on Sunday. Now you can buy your bubbly with your groceries, which truly makes July 1 like the New Years of the summer. Like it's January's counterpart, ... (click for more)

Time To Target The Criminal

While we are in the mood to give up our constitutional rights, why not go after a few in our justice system that protect the criminal and not restrict the law-abiding gun owner?  I for one would be more agreeable to keeping some of these killers off the streets. I gladly welcome TSA screening at the airport, I am pleased when they ask me for an ID at the bank even though ... (click for more)

Customer At East Ridge Gas Station Shoots And Kills Robber; He Had Been Trying To Take Female Clerk With Him

East Ridge Police said a customer at an East Ridge gas station early Thursday morning shot a robber, who was then found by police lying outside the station and was arrested.  The robber has died.  His name is being withheld pending the notification of next of kin. At 1:47 a.m., East Ridge Police responded to 4011 Ringgold Road, the Marathon Service Station, on ... (click for more)

Bridge Repair Over 12th Street To Causes Temporary Lane Closure On US 27; Re-Opened Thursday Afternoon

While investigating a pothole in the bridge on U.S. 27 North over 12 th Street in the construction zone, crews discovered a potential weak spot in the bridge deck that could over time result in more damage to the bridge deck.  For the safety of the traveling public, the outside lane in this area was closed until the contractor made necessary repairs, TDOT officials said.  ... (click for more)

Travis Hale New Softball Coach At Soddy-Daisy

(Story will be updated)  Travis Hale, who spent one year under being groomed for the job, has been named the new softball coach at Soddy-Daisy High School. Hale, previously an assistant coach at Hixson and for one year the head coach at Loftis Middle School, was groomed for the job last season working under coach Wes Skiles, who has stepped down after four seasons. ... (click for more)

Alex Smith Earns All-America Honors In AAU Volleyball

Alex Smith just graduated from Grace Academy in the spring after wrapping up an outstanding career with the Lady Golden Eagle volleyball team. The season didn’t go quite as well as they would have liked as Smith suffered an ankle injury and was sidelined toward the end at tournament time. However, all the news is not bad as Smith joined 10 other players who formed a team ... (click for more)