Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"All agreed the best Father’s Day gift they could receive would be an assurance that Medicaid would continue to be available for all children who need it, especially those with disabilities," writes Andy Spears. (Photo: Reuters)

Tennessee Dads Ask Senators for a Simple Father's Day Gift

Andy Spears

 by People's Action Blog

A group of Tennessee dads gathered inside a dimly-lit parking garage on a rainy Nashville day to send a message to their senators, Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander. Their message was simple: this Father’s Day, they want their senators to protect Medicaid.

The assembled dads each had letters about the importance of Medicaid for their own children.

One of the dads, John Shouse, had this to say:

Senator Alexander, Senator Corker, we gather here today as fathers, with Father’s Day mere hours away, to share with you our concerns with the course of action currently being set in Washington. We are fathers of children with disabilities. We are imploring you to vote to save Medicaid, and the other 'lifeline programs' that are currently facing unprecedented funding cuts. This is a course that, left unchecked, WILL have dire negative consequences for our sons and daughters.

Whether they are young children, or adults trying to find their way in the world now that their school years are over, our sons and daughters face tremendous challenges because of disability. Challenges that most people … even fathers such as yourselves … can hardly imagine.

Shouse spoke of his own experience, having a son with autism who benefits from Medicaid-funded programs.

The Tennessee dads were speaking father to father—imploring Alexander and Corker to think of their own children, and all of Tennessee’s children, when they cast votes on the Senate’s health bill, which includes deep Medicaid cuts.

As Shouse put it:

Vote to ensure that the Medicaid funded supports and services that our sons and daughters use every day just to survive in the community will NOT have to go away because of funding cuts.

Shouse was joined by Jama Mohamed, Michael Nolan, John Sharp, Mike Franks, and Matt Steinhauer in appealing to Tennessee’s U.S. Senators.

All agreed the best Father’s Day gift they could receive would be an assurance that Medicaid would continue to be available for all children who need it, especially those with disabilities.

Senators, are you listening?


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Andy Spears

Andy Spears is the Executive Director of Tennessee Citizen Action

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Ilhan Omar Fends Off Primary Challenger Boosted by Right-Wing PAC Money

"Ilhan Omar has faced some of the ugliest attacks of any elected official and had hundreds of thousands of dollars spent against her," said Sen. Bernie Sanders. "Despite this, she won her primary once again."

Jake Johnson ·


'Let's Send Ron Johnson Packing': Mandela Barnes Wins Wisconsin Senate Primary

"We're going to the Senate to rebuild the middle class," said Barnes. "We're going to protect the right to choose. We're going to fight to make the American Dream an American reality."

Jake Johnson ·


Global Allies Stand With Walden Bello as Social Justice Champion Posts Bail in the Philippines

"Walden Bello's arrest is a violation of his fundamental rights, an affront to the institutions of Philippine democracy, and a threat to free expression everywhere," said the Progressive International council.

Jessica Corbett ·


Team Trump Reportedly 'Bullish' About Exploiting FBI Raid to Win Reelection

One former Trump aide-turned-"Big Lie" detractor said that the Justice Department may have "just handed Trump" the 2024 GOP nomination "or potentially the presidency."

Brett Wilkins ·


Pentagon Contractors in Afghanistan Pocketed $108 Billion Over 20 Years

Military contracting "obscures where and how taxpayer money flows," and "makes it difficult to know how many people are employed, injured, and killed," said the Costs of War Project report's author.

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo