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Insure Tennessee Youth NOW

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To the Tennessee State Assembly:

We, the signers of this petition, call on the Tennessee Assembly to support our youth by adopting a plan in this session to expand access to health care for working people with low incomes.

Most people are unaware of it, but one in every four Tennesseans 18 – 25 does not have health insurance. This is the largest single demographic group that will benefit if you find a way to help low-wage, part-time workers get insurance.

Many of these young people get little or no financial help from their families. Their parents do not have the kind of health insurance that covers dependents.

To get an education they have to work all hours of the day and night in low-wage jobs--jobs that don’t come with health benefits.

Without health insurance, one accident or a serious illness can destroy their dreams.

It is time to put politics aside and level the playing field so that these young people can get basic preventative care and go to the doctor when sick or injured--just like their more fortunate peers.

In a special session, legislative committees rejected Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennesse proposal. The Assembly is now in general session; they have enough time to develop a better solution. This is a test of their leadership and commitment.

To Rep. Beth Harwell, House Speaker and Lt. Gov Ron Ramsay, Speaker of the Senate: Don't give up on us. Your Republican Party controls the legislature. If you decide to use your leadership skills to help us and other vulnerable Tennesseans, you can find a solution.

To Gov. Bill Haslam: Don't give up on us. As a parent you have told your children to try again after they fail. We ask you to apply that same lesson to yourself. Get up, dust yourself off, and to back to work. You have shown you care about young adults. We are counting on you to keep trying until you find a solution.

This petition was written by New Transitions, a Nashville nonprofit made up of youth who are helping others while overcoming adversity in their own lives. The Tennessee General Assembly has approximately two months to solve this problem before adjournment.

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