Republicans Blocking Medicaid Expansion In Tennessee Destroyed This Couple’s Life
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 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.