Vigil honors those cut from TennCare - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Vigil honors those cut from TennCare

The Memphis chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference is bringing the issue of TennCare cuts to light. They held a candlelight vigil to honor people who have suffered and died after losing their TennCare coverage.

"I've been begging everybody to give me my medicine but I don't have it," said Evelyn Williams.

Due to cuts in TennCare's prescription drug coverage Evelyn Williams' 21 medications have been narrowed down to five since July. Since then she has been hospitalized for pneumonia twice.

"I'm not alone," said Williams. "When did medicine become optional?"

At the first of the year, the cost of Williams five medicines should have transferred over to Medicaid. But until a clerical error is corrected Williams can't afford any medicine at all.

She's one of thousands of almost 200,000 enrollees whose drug benefits were reduced or cut when Gov. Phil Bredesen made drastic cuts to the TennCare program.

During his year end remarks the Governor said when it comes to TennCare he is not done fighting.

Bredesen pledged to "work hard in 2006 to find ways to assist those who need our help."

Williams says she can't wait much longer.

"Forgotten, thought of as a burden, thought of as a solution to the budget crisis, expendable, that's how I feel,"said Wiiliams.

The official state of Tennessee website lists health care options for those who lost their TennCare coverage. There is also a Health Options Hotline. That toll free number is 1-888-486-9355.

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