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Monday, September 16, 2019

McSween on local healthcare
Last week the 2019 Cocke County Citizenship Award was presented to Newport Attorney James McSween, Jr. It was presented during a fund raising luncheon at the Carson Springs Conference Center, by the Senior Citizens Home Assistance Service (SCHAS). McSween talked about the importance of all of us helping the less fortunate, remembered the time when as a child, a neighbor woman came by his home asking his mother if she had any extra cornbread to feed her children. He said it is important that everyone be willing to assist those who are in need around them. One of the primary concerns in Tennessee is the number of poor people who have no health insurance. After that award presentation, the honoree talked with the NewsSource about his concerns regarding healthcare in Tennessee. He pointed out that Medicare has been "the salvation" for the medical needs of senior citizens. And McSween said he is pleased that Rural Medical Services has expanded it's services to more low-income residents and that the Newport Medical Center has remained open and in fact has expanded its services. But he is critical of the Tennessee legislature which has refused to accept federal funding to expand health insurance coverage to an estimated 280,000 low-income Tennesseans, under the Affordable Care Act. "We know it is political and it shouldn't be, it should be a social issue that all of us are concerned about and want to resolve." McSween went on to characterize decision making based on liking or disliking a politician, as "foolishness." "Our politicians have become more concerned with 'not poking the bear' and having the funds for re-election," he argued.

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