Justice Center marks 20 years defending most vulnerable

For more than 20 years, the organization has worked to secure coverage of health services for the state's low-income residents free of charge.

News Story (Tennessee)

Holly Meyer
Tennessean, The, Tennessee Justice Center
March 11, 2016

Tags: Access to Justice, Justice for All


ohn Neil Howell’s options were bleak. At one point, the father and truck driver from Fayetteville, Tenn., thought he’d have to cut the operable tumor out of his kidney himself or die from it.

Howell didn’t have insurance. When he went to apply, he discovered that he made too much money to qualify for TennCare, the state‚Äôs Medicaid program, but too little to qualify for subsidies on the federally-run exchange. The situation was dire, but a phone call to the Tennessee Justice Center ended up helping save his life.

The Tennessee Justice Center, a non-profit, advocacy law firm in Nashville, helped Howell and his wife, Jennifer Howell, sort through the red tape of TennCare last fall and decipher the maximum number of hours he could work in order to qualify for the program. The surgery was a success. Howell is one of the thousands the organization has helped in the past two decades.

“I couldn’t have done it without them. There’s no way. It’s impossible,” Howell said. “There’s so many laws and so many rules about all this stuff and unless you’re just a deadbeat that does absolutely nothing, I don’t know how you get covered without these people.”