July 31, 2008

TennCare in Trouble

A year ago we released Collateral Damage, a film that exposes the inhumane outcome of bottom dollar health care politics. The film tracks the story of how Governor Phil Bredesen opted to reel in his state's Medicaid budget by pushing 170,000 people out of the program. It turns out that was only the beginning of the story. TennCare has been under siege ever since. Yesterday we received an email from Michele Johnson, the managing attorney of the Tennessee Justice Center, a non-profit law firm that advocates on behalf of poor Tennesseans. She writes:

"We are feeling a little dé jà vu in TN as the state cuts home health/private duty nursing for about 1,000 medically fragile or vent dependent patients. If they need more than 42 hours a week of care, you lose it. The HMOs are telling patients to go to nursing homes, which of course, cannot meet their need and may or may not even accept them. The Bush administration said it was OK, so our legal hooks are few. No surprise we are having a heck of a time getting the media to cover this."

We're asking anyone and everyone we know to raise awareness to the plight of TennCare enrollees, and let Gov. Bredesen know that he can't balance his state's budget on the backs of the sickly and less fortunate.