Tennessee Needs To Expand Medicaid

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I am a disabled woman who practiced primary care medicine in Chattanooga for 20 years. I was on staff at Erlanger Medical Center and saw the crucial part it played in community health, caring for the uninsured and for Medicaid patients, as well as people like me who loved the quality of the teaching hospital. I chose to have my daughter there, and they handled her special birth problems in the neonatal intensive care unit. 

Several years of my medical practice were spent as a staff physician at the community health centers which operated in association with Erlanger Medical Center. Again, I was able to care for people who had Medicaid to cover problems that otherwise wouldn't have been diagnosed or treated. Many patients who were uninsured and working couldn't even afford to use the community health centers, and couldn't get onto the Medicaid roles because of limited funds. 

In caring for the poor of my community I saw the results of lack of insurance. People who can't get health screenings and preventive care suffer from the complications of diseases before they reach the health care system. For instance, it is common to diagnose high blood pressure during a screening exam in someone with insurance. That person receives cheap treatment and advice as they continue work. Without insurance, he might come into the health system much later with a severe stroke that leaves him disabled. A woman with early diabetes and insurance could be diagnosed on a screening test during a physical exam and given lifestyle advice and whatever treatment was necessary. Without insurance, that same person might present much later with diabetic kidney damage and blood vessel disease leading to a heart attack. 

Insured people stay healthy and working, and save us money. 

The Affordable Care Act is making it possible for millions to have good quality health insurance they can afford, but many working poor are being left out. In Tennessee the numbers are hundreds of thousands - poor and working poor with no coverage because Governor Haslam and Representative Fleischmann refuse to expand Medicaid. How can they refuse a program that costs our state nothing and that will help families receive the care that we all need? It is time to put people over politics.

Essie Bruell
Chattanooga


The Economy Inn Debacle

Where does one start to rank the missteps of the recent closing of the Economy Inn on Brainerd Road? What a total debacle. I would not attempt to relieve the owner of her responsibility for operating a nuisance business. My questions relate to the manner in which our city leaders attempted to get her attention. This event occurred a week ago, and I've yet to see any reports ... (click for more)

We Need A Defensive Force At Our Schools

It's not enough. I want a defensive force at HCDE schools that will give a higher percentage rate of survival in the event an "Incident of Violence" occurs. Somebody, multiple personnel, need to be armed and at the ready (on school property) in-case such an occurrence happens.  #SHOOTBACK  Steve Hixon Parent HCDE (click for more)

Erlanger Has Unique Ribbon Cutting For $16 Million Heart And Lung Institute

Erlanger Health System unveiled its new $16 million Heart and Lung Institute on Thursday with a unique ribbon cutting. Dr. Larry Shears, a renowned heart surgeon who was recruited for the center, used the Da Vinci robot that he often operates with to clip a ribbon by remote control. The "hospital within a hospital" is on the fourth floor of the Baroness Erlanger campus on E. ... (click for more)

City Files Petition To Turn Confederate Cemetery Over To Sons Of The Confederacy

The city of Chattanooga has filed a petition in Chancery Court asking that management of the Confederate Cemetery be turned over to the Sons of the Confederacy. The Sons of the Confederacy, a group that has long taken care of the cemetery, joined in the petition. The cemetery is located by the UTC campus. It is beside the Citizens Cemetery and the Jewish Cemetery on the old ... (click for more)

Young Mocs Fall To Mercer 65-56

 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga freshmen Brooke Burns and Mya Long combined for 36 points in the Mocs’ 65-56 loss to Mercer in Southern Conference women’s basketball action at Hawkins Arena Thursday night. Chattanooga falls to 16-11 on the year and 7-6 in league play. The Bears, ranked 25th in the USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll, are now 26-2 and 13-0 in SoCon action. ... (click for more)

Covenant Softball Wins Two In Home Opener

The Covenant softball team finally played its home opener and outlasted both the weather and visiting Judson to earn a doubleheader sweep on Thursday afternoon. The Lady Scots won 4-2 in game one, which was delayed over an hour due to heavy rain, and then recorded a 9-1 victory in the finale. Covenant (6-8) had played its first 12 games on the road or in neutral site locations. ... (click for more)