Organizing for America | Elyssa Durant: Economic Crisis

Post from Elyssa Durant:
Economic Crisis

I am a resident in the state of Tennessee and I live in the 51st district. I am a recipient of TennCare, and, I am a member of the Daniels Class.

I am urging you to take immediate action. PLEASE sign the economic recovery package before it is too late.

As someone who has lived and voted in the state of Tennessee since 1996, I have witnessed several shifts in policy, both on the local and federal levels.

Governor Bredesen is currently “holding off in spending” until he learns what federal aid will become available to the residents of Tennessee.

Even under of the best of economic circumstances„ the state has often been reluctant to release state monies until they are in physical receipt of all federal matching dollars. This delays program implementation and compromises the integrity of the research design.  Consistency is a critical component of effective program development and design. If we hold back state funds until the feds work put the details of this enormous, comprehensive package, our current programs will suffer as a result.
We can not wait for a determination regarding federal funding before we to determine our state budget while before we of the programs we already are suffering financially.

When I was twenty-two years old I developed a medical condition, and it quiclky became obvious to me that it would be a lifelong struggle to cope and adapt to having physical disability.  I purchased three independent policies, and was still covered under a terminal liability clause under a major medical ERISA (federal) plan.  As someone who also needed to turn to federal funds and intervention in a crisis, I know that if or when help does arrive, it usually too late.

That didn’t work.Let me assure you that when it comes to withholding criticalitems like food, hosing, social servicdes, it adds up exponentially.   Withholding medical care simply because of procedure and beaurocratic red tape, is shameful and cruel.  The money is there, but it seems there should be a certain level of oversight and accountability if we expect it to be used effectively without delay and without excessive adminsitrative dealay and costs. 
We need to have some level of accountabillity to ensure the timely and proper disbursement of funds.  In my experience there is little recourse for persons individuals who get caught up in the complicated payment arrangements, complicated languaage, and the systematic, procedural delay when it comes to the processing and payment of claims.  And let me personally assure you, that there is a very real human cost here as well… and unless there is immediate intervention, much more than just money will be lost.
Please sign the bill before any more jobs, homes, and future are ruined by becauswe help did not fast enough. Please release the funds, because we are running out of time.

I am 36, and my spinal cord is damaged from years of delayed, sub-standard medical treatment as I attemptedn to navigate a system that simply does not work.  I owe the federal government $179,982.00 in student loans.

When I am able to work, I make $10.46/hour as a substitute teacher in MNPS. That job comes with no security and no benefits.

I have an advanced masters degree from an Ivy League Institution. I am 9 credits shy of a Ph.D. in public policy. Despite having maintained a 3.83 grade point average while earning my masters, and just over 3.2 during the three years I was enrolled full time in a doctoral program.

Despite having comparable coverage, the insurance company refused to give me COBRA and would not cover my pre-existing condition even through both Columbia and Vanderbilt Universities used the same underwriter for student medical insurance: Chickering US HealthScare.

I had no break in coverage, and even pruchased a private HMO (Oxford) plan that cost several hundred dollars each month just so I could prevent becoming uninsurable before my 25th birthday.

Wrong. Not only did I continue to pay for all three policies, I also had to pay for treament and STILL wound up on TennCare and Medicaid.

Despite doing all the “right” things, I was still unable to transfer benefits from one graduate school to the next.

I have not been granted any leniency by extending the amount or time permitted to complete my degree— or allow me to transfer those credits towards another program at the same institution, and ultimately left me finacially devistated and emotionally bankrupt.

Vanderbilt will not even transfer any of the credits I paid for (in spades) towards another degree at the same university since they no longer have the program I was initially enrolled in. I think it goes without saying that I do not have the financial resources available to finish my last semester, take the GREs over again, or pay the associated application fees necessary to make the time spent there worth while.

Throughout the three year process of filing medical appeal after the next, I acquired over 1/4 million dollars in debt due the stuident loans I needed to pay for my unreimbursed medical expenses.

My life will never be the same.

My heart will never be the same.

And now once again, I face losing my healthcare that I fought so hard to get?

Where is the safety net? Where is the American Dream that I so diligently chased after for so many years? What was the point of investing so much in a future that I can never enjoy?

How can the you justify spending so money much on an education that will never be utilized?

I understand the how; I just don’t understand why.

Maybe one of these days Vanderbilt University and the Department of Education will realize it might just be cheaper to hire me that harass me.

I need a real paying job, but with the skyrocketing unemployment rate, it klooks as though I will have a lot of competition.

Please do something, and do it quick. I would not wish this experience on my worst nightmare.

Sincerely yours,

Elyssa Durant
Nashville, TN


Author: Chilleh Penguin

A frisky penguin.

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