Monday, June 20, 2005

Gov's Office Occupied! -TennCare Enrollees Fighting Back - Breaking! -Update

See also: No Food or Water for Protesting TennCare Enrollees Locked Inside Capitol!

Update #2: From TN Indy Media Center: Nashville, TN: "On Monday morning at 10:00am, twenty Tenncare Enrollees entered Governor Bredesen's Office with a list of demands, including a request to halt all of the termination of health insurance letters immediately and to provide written agreement to resume talks before June 30th and to review reforms and revenue generation that could allow TennCare to be maintained for those who are proposed to be cut and receive benefit limits. Additionally they have requested that these talks happen in manner fully accessible to the public and that they engage enrollees and medical professionals chosen from and with in this participating group.

In a statement released by the Nashville Peace and Justice Center, regarding this morning's occupation of the Governor's office, organizers said that they were there because if the Governor does not address this crisis, people will die. Enrollees say they will stay as long as needed, even under the risk of arrest. They are calling on supporters to contact the Governor's office. They are planning a rally for Tuesday night between 5pm and 7pm in front of the Tenncare Building in Downtown Nashville."

More at Tennessee Independent Media Center

Update: If you can't be there, but want to help, email and/or call the Governor and mainstream media (they are still not on this).

A good place to start with the MSM is lefty Keith Olbermann at MSNBC.

Governor Bredesen’s Office: Phone: 615.741.2001 Fax: 615.532.9711 Email: phil.bredesen@state.tn.us


Approximately 30 people, including the sick and disabled, are occupying Governor Bredesen's office as I write. The civilly disobedient Tenncare patients and advocates filed into the Govenor's office at roughly 10:00 am this morning.

They are there to tell the Govenor that taking the axe to healthcare for hundreds of thousands of elderly/disabled/sick/poor Tennesseans is not how you 'fix' TennCare. People will die.

Below is the email alert about the ongoing occupation of Bredesen's office.

It includes the names of some of the people who are occupying the Govenor's office; they are from Nashville, Memphis, and Chattanooga.

Please do what you can to help stop the Govenor and save the lives of our fellow Tennesseans.

TennCare Enrollees Occupy Governor's Office

TennCare Enrollees, People with Disabilities, Medical Professionals, and other concerned Tennesseans have occupied Governor Bredesen’s Office.

WHEN: JUST NOW, Monday, June 20th about 10am

WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU:


1. Call, email or fax Governor Bredesen’s Office and offer your full support to your fellow Tennesseans that you stand with them and support the call to stop the Cuts.

“We know it is not too late to consider the dire needs of Tennesseans who are proposed to be cut. We stand with those who are in Gov Bredesen’s Office and who are exercising their rights affording to them by US and Tennessee Constitutions to peacefully assemble and instruct you as a representative of all Tennesseans.”


We know you are courageous and it is not too late to do the right thing and to support the well-being of all Tennesseans. CORRECT TENNCARE, DON’T CUT IT.”

Governor Bredesen’s Office:
Phone: 615.741.2001 Fax: 615.532.9711 Email:
phil.bredesen@state.tn.us

2. Offer your support
Call NPJC and let us know how you can help. Or, that you want to help and we’ll let you know how. 321-9066

3. CALL EVERYONE YOU KNOW AND SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT:TOMORROW, TUESDAY, JUNE 21st Rally
5pm – 7pm, 8th & Church, In front of the TennCare Building
Parking on the same corner.

BACKGROUND ON SIT-IN:
TennCare Enrollees Glen Barnhill, Wanda Eubanks, Lori Smith and others who are scared of the impact of the cuts and benefit limits on their lives gathered with other enrollees, clergy, medical professionals and allies to join together to go straight to the Governor with a plea to not cut hundreds of thousands. SEE STATEMENT BELOW.

WHO IS IN THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE:


Glen Barnhill – Nashville, Tennessee
TennCare Enrollee, Incomplete quadriplegic
Losing in-home health care

Wanda Eubanks – Nashville, Tennessee
Nurse, TennCare enrollee receiving Benefit Limits
Had Heart Surgery, requires 8 medications for heart, Thyroid, and blood pressure.

Rev. Henry Blaze – Nashville, Tennessee

Pastor – Progressive Baptist Church

Dr. Ryan Hutchinson – Nashville, Tennessee
Physician for hundreds of TennCare Enrollees

Don DeVaul – Westport, Tennessee
TennCare Enrollee, Paralyzed Carpenter, Will be cut and is uninsurable

Lori Smith – Nashville, Tennessee
TennCare Enrollee (premium payer with full time job), Will be cut and is uninsurable
Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus

Lisa Abel – Nashville, Tennessee
TennCare Enrollee, Massage Therapist, Will be cut and is uninsurable
Skin cancer, gallstones, and uterine polyps

Michael Bennett – Chattanooga, Tennessee
Student – Fisk University
Has 3 family members on TennCare

Stan Davidson– Nashville, Tennessee
TennCare Enrollee, Will be Cut

Randy Alexander– Memphis, Tennessee
ADAPT Member, Advocate for People with Disabilities and is Parapligic

Lewis Patrick – Memphis, Tennessee
ADAPT Member, Advocate for People with Disabilities and is Parapligic

Michael Henrich – Memphis, Tennessee
ADAPT Member

Pam Beziat– Nashville, Tennessee
Hospice Care Nurse and TennCare Enrollee who will be cut

Karl Meyer – Nashville, Tennessee
Local Carpenter, Son survived because of TennCare, girl friend will be cut from TennCare

David “Cowboy” Lutrell – Nashville, Tennessee
TennCare enrollee will be cut and fears lack of health care will return
Him to the streets

Howard Allen – Nashville, Tennessee
Uninsured, Member of Nashville Homeless Power Project

And over a dozen others…


******GROUP STATEMENT:

OUR CALL TO GOVERNOR BREDESEN
June 20th, 2005

WHO WE ARE
We are here as a group of concerned Tennesseans. Some of us are on TennCare, a few of us will be cut and all of us will be hurt by the cuts. Some of us are medical professionals and know the devastation that this will have on our patients. Some of us are people of faith who know that it is our duty to care for our fellow brothers and sisters when the are in harms way. We are people with different cultures, backgrounds, and abilities but all of us come with a common understanding that TennCare is essential for the most vulnerable in Tennessee.

WHAT WE WANT
We are here in the Governor’s Office, as afforded by the Constitution of Tennessee to assemble peaceably, to instruct the governor. We call on the Governor to:

(1) Halt all of the termination letters immediately, the process for cutting enrollement, and the reduction of benefit limits.

(2) Provide written agreement to resume talks before June 30th, to review reforms and revenue generation that could allow TennCare to be maintained for those who are proposed to be cut and receive benefit limits.

a. That these talks happen in manner fully accessible to the public.
b. That they engage enrollees and medical professionals chosen from and with in this participating group.

OUR RIGHTS
The Capitol and the Governor's office are owned by the people of Tennessee. We rely on our unalienable rights to reform government, to assemble peaceably, to instruct the Governor, and to apply for redress of grievances, which are all clearly recognized in Sections 1, 2, and 23 of the Tennessee Constitution ( Declaration of Rights ) and in Article XI, Section 16.

We will stay as long as we feel necessary, and return as often as we feel necessary, until the Governor provides us with a state policy that will fully protect the lives and rights of all TennCare recipients.

Matthew Leber, Director
Nashville Peace and Justice Center
1016 18th Avenue, South
Nashville, TN 37212
(Phone) 615 321 9066
(Fax) 615 320 8897
matt@nashvillepeacejustice.org
www.nashvillepeacejustice.org

The Nashville Peace and Justice Center is a community based coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to creating a peaceful and just society.


"...There are millions of poor people in this country who have very little, or even nothing, to lose. If they can be helped to take action together, they will do so with a freedom and a power that will be a new and unsettling force in our complacent national life..." -- The Trumpet of Conscience, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, 1967



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