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DAY TWENTY-THREE: No Food or Water.

Growing pressure on Tennessee Governor reveals itself in petty rule change.

Phil Bredesen(NASHVILLE, July 12, 2005) Governor Phil Bredesen of Tennessee can get headlines strolling into the capitol building with extra burgers and fries, but has now clamped down on the TennCare demonstrators outside his office allowing them no food or water. Activists were told today that they could keep the current supply of food, but no more could be brought in the public building. 

“We will be here,” said Stan Davidson who spent the night at the governor’s office door, “this no food or water rule has no impact on us because we are here for more important things. We see the pressure on the governor is getting greater.”

In a public relations ploy, the governor had suggested that the added security was costing the Tennessee taxpayers money; however, the peaceful non-violent demonstration does not require more security. The governor has obviously found a new role for his added personal security force – they have become hall monitors. 

“This is just another tactic to silence the voice of the people,” said Randy Alexander of Memphis ADAPT. “No doubt we will continue.”

Over three weeks ago, Alexander and two-dozen other citizens visited Bredesen’s Nashville office and demanded an end to the healthcare disenrollment. They said they were not leaving until the governor listened to them. They have stayed in varying numbers, with volunteers from all parts of the state and many backgrounds they present the same demands of the governor.

Randy Alexander of Tennessee ADAPT“I want to be clear on one point: I am committed to fixing TennCare, not dismantling it,” said Bredesen last year. “This is a worthwhile initiative that needs to be preserved if possible; not taken apart.” 

But now the Tennessee governor is intent on dismantling TennCare. Without any apologies or public discussion, the state moved from a dialogue to improve and secure the innovative healthcare system, to the governors own idea that only his untested Medicaid plan is the state’s only option.

“It shows that the governor just can’t address the issue or the people,” said Davidson. “I thought we were all older than that.”

-Tim Wheat

MCIL Journal Index 2005

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© 2005 Tim Wheat