July 6, 2014 5:45 pm -

Linda Drain is being torn apart from her husband in a marriage that has lasted 33 years. She and her husband, Larry Drain, separated, so she could keep her health insurance. Linda needs insurance because she suffers from epilepsy. Linda Drain has epilepsy and has suffered so many seizures she has damaged the nerves in her back.

Linda and Larry Drain (image: The Tennessean)

Linda and Larry Drain (image: The Tennessean)

Linda has spinal stenosis, a condition aggravated by the titanium in her back. She’s even undergone brain surgery to alleviate the seizures, but she still has to take expensive medications in order to prevent them. Her husband has his own health issues to deal with.  He’s now living alone in the small apartment the couple once shared. He has no insurance and hopes the hernia he can’t afford surgery for won’t cause a bowel obstruction.

The Tennessean reports:

Six months into the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the Drains are among 162,000 Tennesseans who got caught in a coverage gap. Their household income is too little to qualify for a government subsidy to buy health insurance, and they live in a state not expanding Medicaid.

Their predicament was caused by a series of legal, political and bureaucratic decisions that included the U.S. Supreme Court striking down part of the federal health law, but Larry Drain said he feels to blame.

“In September of last year, I made what looking back on it in retrospect was the worst decision I ever made in my entire life,” he said. “I decided to take early retirement from Social Security.”

Even though his monthly benefit was significantly less than the paycheck he had been bringing home, the decision changed the eligibility requirements for Linda Drain to continue receiving Supplemental Security Income. If she kept living with her husband, she would lose SSI eligibility, which would make her no longer qualify for TennCare…

Had Tennessee expanded its Medicaid program, they both would have been eligible for coverage.

Obamacare was supposed to protect people like the Drains, but Republicans whittled away at the Affordable Care Act until we had a mere shadow on what we once wanted for this country. Obama’s mandate was attacked out of spite and now the Reddest states will suffer for it.


No responses to Republicans Blocking Medicaid Expansion In Tennessee Destroyed This Couple’s Life

  1. Linda1961 July 6th, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Republican family values at work – tearing families apart.

    BTW, looks like we’ve found the real death panels – gop governors who refused Medicaid expansion.

  2. Tommy6860 July 6th, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Wow! This is so sad, I feel terrible for this couple. “Life, happiness and the pursuit of…” well the wingers can define “liberty”, I see nothing of the sort with the uncaring attitudes among them .

  3. Abby Normal July 6th, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Imagine what will happen to this country if the Republicans take control of the Senate this fall and then the White House in 2016.

    • veggiedude July 7th, 2014 at 12:45 am

      No need to imagine it. They held all three branches of government for the first six years of Bush, and totally wrecked the nation.

      • Jmacgowan8 July 7th, 2014 at 10:28 pm

        Yes that is so true, look at how much better everything is now after 6 years with our fearless leader. Wait don’t look just listen tomobama tell how great you have it now.

  4. Mass Independent July 6th, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    The hypocrite party of “family values” strikes another family. But why do the poor of the south keep voting these Rethugs in? They always become the victims of their voting patterns. The same thing happened in Maine; the ones who most needed the Medicare expansion were the ones who voted in the TeaTard Paul LePage, who denied them the coverage they need.

    • Suzanne McFly July 6th, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      I think the poor who vote for republicans vote for them because of social issues such as homophobia and anti-woman but also the God and guns issues. The right panders to them using their code words and the rwnj’s drool on themselves over these issues.

      • madame48 July 6th, 2014 at 9:42 pm

        Then they let themselves be wrecked by their hate, or ignorance or religious radical crap…just stop dragging the rest of us backward too

      • Jmacgowan8 July 7th, 2014 at 10:27 pm

        So mcfly you are saying these people are too stupid to be able to make a simple choice? I suppose the woman with the obamaphone was a well informed voter. This is the problem with you people whomthink you must make the choices for those poor people whomare not smart enough to think like you.

        • Suzanne McFly July 8th, 2014 at 2:37 pm

          If I had time or concern for you, I would work to educate you on your many ridiculous statements, but I gave up talking to trolls 5 years ago for lent and I won’t break my successful journey for you. So why don’t you go do some fact checking then rewrite your comment and maybe then I will have an adult conversation with you, good luck.

  5. KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker July 6th, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Republicans aren’t interested in American citizens. They aren’t interested in governing either. They lie to get stupid people to vote for them so that they can have power and gain wealth. Conservatism is a mental illness.

    • Jmacgowan8 July 7th, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      And democrats do not do that right. How did Harry Reid who has not brought a house bill up for a vote, get all his bucks then. All politicians lue and only want more piwer you are naive if you think this is a republican malady. Look at the lengths obama went to for reelection.

  6. Tommy6860 July 6th, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    I was just thinking; since this couple had to resort to a legal separation just to get health benefits, how does that affect surivor-ship and tax benefits?

  7. RAPTOR555 July 6th, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    The democrats are responsible for this happening via obamacare. They forced people onto medicare that can’t afford insurance and the cost falls to the state. The states aren’t reimbursed by the feds and it would bankrupt the states.

    • Anomaly 100 July 6th, 2014 at 11:05 pm

      Maybe if you open your mouth wider, more gish gallop will pour out.

    • pablopcasso July 6th, 2014 at 11:28 pm

      That is exactly what the expansion of Medicaid in the states is for, opening them up for federal funds. Unfortunately, states like yours and Texas, just two of many, would cut off its nose to spite its face to make the Affordable Care Act look bad. Ask Ohioans and Kentuckians how their expansions are going (swimmingly, in comparison), then go brag about how Tennessee is doing so well. Stupid is as stupid does.

    • Robin Salvadori Allison July 6th, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      1) States don’t pay for Medicare. You’re confusing it with Medicaid, and then showing you have no idea how Medicaid works either. Medicaid is partly paid by states and partly by the fed. 2) The ACA opened up Medicaid eligibility for folks with higher incomes with 100% of the extra funds needed coming from the feds. After a few years, states would be responsible for 10% of the expansion. The states which have already expanded are saving quite a bit of money because of folks having medical care, and it is likely that the future funds wont actually end u costing the states more.
      This poor guy took early retirement, meaning he isn’t yet eligible for Medicare. Because he has too much income for unexpanded Medicaid, he’s screwed. If his hernia gets worse, he will probably cost a great deal to the state in covering his uninsured care.
      “It seems most of the people posting on the subject matter here are unfamiliar with how Medicare works ” looks very much like a pot calling the kettle black. Not to mention the discussion has nothing whatsoever to do with Medicare, which comes out of your payroll taxes and is 100% federally funded.

      • Anomaly 100 July 7th, 2014 at 8:06 am

        To be fair, Medicare and Medicaid both start with an M. So to him, they’re probably the same thing. @-@

      • Jmacgowan8 July 7th, 2014 at 10:21 pm

        Robin you can now count yourself among the uninformed. The feds will pay 100% of medicaid expansion for two years then gradually the states will pick up that difference until they are covering all the expnsion costs.
        Also no where in this article does it mention this guy having a hernia or his reason for retiring early.

  8. Shades July 6th, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    How very sad for them. I don’t know if these people were democrats or republicans before this, but I bet they’ll never vote GOP again.

    • anon July 7th, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      If they survive to the next election…

  9. wifather2000 July 6th, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    She is eligible for 1/2 of the amount her husband gets in Social Security because she has been married to him for more than 10 years.42 USC 402.

  10. noname63 July 7th, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Republicans are evil!!! This should not be happening in the US. At all. Ever!

  11. Jim Valley July 7th, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    “now the Reddest states will suffer for it.”

    The “states” won’t suffer. They’re not people. The people who live in these backwards states will suffer.

  12. Jmacgowan8 July 7th, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    How do they make to little to qualify for a subsidy? This article like most here lacks some very pertinent facts to allow room for inflamatory and biased comments instead. I will not go into the many flaws with a law we have to pass to find out what is in it. Republicans are evil the flip side would be if democrats are not evil with the legislation they pass the only thing left to describe them is stupid.