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


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com; Include Your Full Name, Address, Phone Number For Verification

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to  news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. This includes your home address and phone number. We do not post the contact information, but need it for verification. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more ... (click for more)

Oversight Needed In CVB And Chamber Of Commerce Spending

The Hamilton County Commission adopted a resolution that requires that all taxpayer-supported agencies receiving 25 percent or more of their annual operating income to adhere to Hamilton County purchasing policies.  For the commissioners that voted to protect the public tax dollars, you get an A plus in elected representation.  It is about time that the CVB and Chamber ... (click for more)

Public Markets To Manage And Operate Finley Stadium

The Stadium Corporation board of directors, at a special board meeting Thursday, gave approval for Public Markets, Inc., (PMI) the entity that oversees the Chattanooga Market, the River Market, the Collegedale Market and Cambridge Square Market, to handle the management, operations and administration of the stadium. Executive Director of PMI Chris Thomas and his staff stepped ... (click for more)

Man Charged In North Chattanooga Murder Says "Wrong Number" Led To Drug Deal That Went Bad

A man charged in a North Chattanooga murder said a "wrong number" led to his chance meeting with victim Charles "Chas" Holsey and a drug deal that led to the March 2, 2015, slaying. Briston "B.J." Smith Jr. told investigators he thought he was dialing a friend named "Clack" who he said sells marijuana. By getting one digit wrong, he wound up texting with Holsey, who by chance ... (click for more)

Inclement Weather Forces Cancellation Of Thursday Night's Lookouts Game

Not only was Tropical Storm Cindy responsible for the cancellation of Tuesday's Southern League All-Star Game, but now the storm has also resulted in the cancellation of Thursday night's game at AT&T Field with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. The First Half North Division Champion Lookouts announced that Thursday's (6/22) game has been postponed due ... (click for more)

Cleveland High School Selects Joey Knox As Head Wrestling Coach

Cleveland High School has selected Joey Knox as the next head coach for the Blue Raider Wrestling program.  Coach Knox has been with the wrestling program as an assistant since 2013.  During his assistant coaching tenure, the team has secured six Team State Championships, including five individual State Champions and 20 State Medalists.    Cleveland High ... (click for more)