In August of 2005 over 200,000 of the sickest and most vulnerable people in Tennessee were cut from Tenncare, the state funded medical insurance program. The short film features portraits by photojournalist Joon Powell, narrated by Minton Sparks with vocals and music by Maura O'Connell, John Prine and Steve Conn. Written, produced and edited by Molly Secours
That year I made a short documentary called the "Faces Of TennCare": Putting A Human Face On Tennessee's Health Care Failure" which explores how the loss of medical coverage has emotionally, physically and financially devastated the lives of thousands upon thousands of Tennesseans. Little did I know that two years later I would be diagnosed with Stage 4 uterine cancer and experience some of the same fiscal challenges.
This documentary was a labor of love, as there was no budget or production crew and it was only through the generosity of artists, musicians and poets that the video was made.
Realizing we needed the support of those in Washington who were serious about the need for healthcare reform, we put in a call to Senator Kennedy's office on a Sunday evening and left them a message about the film. By Tuesday afternoon Senator Kennedy had this to say about Faces of TennCare :
"Every state has faces like these. This film is an eloquent cry to the
nation to guarantee the basic right to health care for all our people. How can anyone who sees it ignore this worsening crisis any longer?"
Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA)
Thank you Senator Kennedy for your dedication and unrelenting commitment to the issue of healthcare and for all of the work done on behalf of those not as privileged as yourself. As a cancer survivor, I feel both gratitude and sadness about your struggle and peace that you may rest.
And now, it is up to us.