Gov. Haslam, Lt. Gov. Ramsey, Spk. Harwell, and the TN General Assembly: Vote in favor of providing basic health care for ALL Tennesseans
We must make it clear to the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Legislature that if the “Tennessee Health Plan” is not accepted as an alternative to Medicaid expansion, rejecting the federal funding to provide health insurance to citizens who earn less than 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL) is not acceptable.
Will you sign on to this letter to the Tennessee General Assembly? It will be sent to the Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker, and the entire Tennessee House and Senate on April 8, so we must have your endorsement by then.
Note: when signing this letter, please put your religious organization name after your last name. Thank you!
- Gov. Haslam, Lt. Gov. Ramsey, Spk. Harwell, and the General Assembly
We, the undersigned, share Gov. Haslam’s stated belief that providing health care to our most vulnerable, “the least of these”, is a mandate of our various faith traditions and will improve lives of Tennesseans across the state.
Further, the Governor has chosen to propose an alternative to Medicaid expansion (The Tennessee Health Plan), which he contends would provide health insurance to roughly the same number of uninsured who would be expected to enroll under traditional Medicaid expansion.
If this plan is not accepted as an alternative to Medicaid expansion, Gov. Haslam’s rejection of the federal funding to provide health insurance to citizens who earn less than 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL) is not acceptable.
Expansion of health insurance will create high-paying jobs, be good for our economy, and will improve health outcomes for hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans.
The prophet Ezekiel denounced the leaders of ancient Israel whose failure of responsible government included failure to provide health care: “you have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured, you have not brought back the strayed, you have not sought the lost, but with force and harshness you have ruled them” (Ezekiel 34:4, NRSV).
Throughout the Scriptures, God asks people of faith to care for our neighbors and to give special attention to those who are most vulnerable. “Care for the widow, the orphan, the stranger among you,” God commands. (Deuteronomy 24) “Who is my neighbor?” a person asked. “The one who showed compassion,” Jesus replied. (Luke 10) God calls, and we, as people of faith, respond.
Now is the time for our leaders to answer God’s call. We support legislation that provides health coverage to all persons who earn less than 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL) and provides access to affordable healthcare to those who need most, and we expect our elected leaders and representatives to vote in favor of providing basic health care for those in Tennessee who do not earn enough to meet their basic needs. It is not only the right thing to do, it's the moral and faithful thing to do.
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