The Mercy Junction Justice and Peace Center will hold a funeral procession for those who will be killed by Sen. Todd Gardenhire’s vote to deny health insurance to 280,000 Tennesseans — including 17,000 veterans who are not eligible for VA benefits. Gardenhire, who has state health insurance and who represents parts of Hamilton and Bradley counties, voted alongside six other senators to block the expansion of Medicaid in the state.
The “Funeral Procession for the Uninsured” will begin at Miller Park at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 10. The procession will end at the Broad Street business office of Gardenhire, where the funeral service will be held.
“It is a moral atrocity that Sen. Todd Gardenhire, who receives taxpayer subsidized health insurance, would vote to deny the expansion of health care coverage to over 280,000 poor and working families in Tennessee,” said Mercy Junction co-director, the Rev. Brian Merritt. “It is clear that our state senator values the campaign contributions of outside groups, like the Koch brothers, over the lives and welfare of his own constituents.”
According to the Tennessee Justice Center, 47 percent of all uninsured Tennesseans statewide, ages 18 to 64, have incomes less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level, which would make them eligible for Medicaid under the new law. In Bradley County, Medicaid expansion would have provided coverage to 49 percent of total uninsured adults. In Hamilton County, expansion would have provided coverage to 45 percent of total uninsured adults.
The Mercy Junction Justice and Peace Center calls on everyone who believes government should put people first to join us in mourning for friends and family members who will be murdered by petty party politics. Those attending the funeral procession are asked to wear black clothing.
A link to the Facebook event for the Funeral Procession for the Uninsured can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/events/811914412226764