Tennessee Gubernatorial Candidates Address Tennessee Veteran and Terminal Cancer Patient, Kelly Gregory, During Debate

This is Her Response

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (October 12, 2018) -- During tonight’s Tennessee Gubernatorial debate, the moderator asked each candidate what they would say to Kelly Gregory, a terminal cancer patient and U.S. Army veteran calling for Medicaid expansion. Gregory issued the following statement in response to their answers:

“I pray to be the last person to die because of lack of health care in Tennessee and tonight’s debate showed that Karl Dean could be the answer to that prayer. Expanding Medicaid would bring health care, stop hospital closures, and return billions of our tax dollars back to Tennessee.

Bill Lee repeated the same talking points that Republicans and Governor Haslam have said for years: that they have a plan, but they just can’t tell us what it is or implement it. That kind of inaction and partisanship has led to 11 closed hospitals across our state, lost jobs, and hundreds of thousands of our fellow Tennesseans without access to health care.

When you deny people health insurance, you are sentencing them to poorer and shorter lives. The notion that some people get to have health care and others do not goes against everything my faith has taught me.

It is too late for me because my cancer is terminal, but it doesn’t have to be this way for others. Hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans are really hurting right now because of the Republican refusal to expand Medicaid. We have a chance to support a governor that will push our state to expand, and with it, access to health care so no one else has to die an unnecessary death, like me, just because they didn’t have access to care.

The question came on the eve of Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, October 13, which is Gregory's diagnosis.”

About Kelly Gregory
Kelly Gregory is an Air Force veteran and cancer patient.Before the ACA, Kelly was forced to go without health insurance after a genetic condition diagnosis led her insurer to quadruple her coverage. Because she had no coverage, her breast cancer was not caught until it was terminal.