More TennCare Struggles

The Memphis Daily News looks at two TennCare recipients who lost their coverage but fought back…

The story of two Memphis-area patients facing the loss of their TennCare coverage was first told in the Oct. 31, 2009, issue of The Memphis News, sister publication of The Daily News. Both patients have fought their battles in court, and for Brandon Byrd of Atoka, the fight is not yet over.

For Jacqueatha Phillips, a spina bifida patient, and her mother, Linda Fann, the fight was won.

The 2005 TennCare cuts which removed some 320,000 people from the rolls have had a devastating effect on medical care for poor and critically ill patients, not to mention state hospitals. Just because these people don’t have coverage doesn’t mean they won’t need services. On the contrary, they will need them, and wait until the last second to use them, costing EVERYONE more.

When faced with a budget deficit, cutting is easy, and that’s largely what we’ve done. Eventually, you get past the skin, fat and muscle, and start cutting bone. That’s where we’re at now. We have to start thinking differently about the problems we face, because the same old solutions aren’t and haven’t been working in the best interest of Tennesseans.

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