Sen. McInnis’ peculiar use of time

Recently the Laurinburg-Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual “Meet the Legislators” breakfast.

During his presentation, Sen. McInnis proudly highlighted his co-sponsorship of a new law designed to prevent lawsuits against hog farmers of the “negligent or improper operation” type recently experienced by some of the farms of Murphy-Brown, a division of Smithfield, which resulted in a guilty verdict and large fine, announced April 26.

The farm bill co-sponsored by McInnis was filed in the N.C. Senate on May 15 and became law June 27.

A question and answer period was held following the presentation, and McInnis was asked what his position was on the Medicaid expansion available to North Carolinians but has not been adopted by the General Assembly. It was pointed out that over 500,000 uninsured North Carolinians would gain insured medical coverage with this action. His response was that he needed more information before he could decide.

The Affordable Care Act was enacted in March 2010. McInnis began his service in the Senate in January 2015.

It took McInnis 22 days to introduce a solution designed to solve the problem in favor of the economic health of the 2,700 or so hog farmers. He has had at least 44 months to gather information and study the benefits of accepting the expansion of Medicaid.

We imagine he already knows that about 500,000 residents would gain access in North Carolina to primary care physicians, reduced price prescriptions, screening tests, early intervention and more.

We imagine he would know that Scotland County is ranked near the bottom of all counties in health care outcomes; and we imagine he would know that this access would not only improve the lives of those newly eligible, but also the well-being of their families as well, since the uncertainty of untreated or undetected medical problems would be greatly reduced — as well as the financial health of hospitals and medical services in the region.

What we can’t imagine is why Sen. McInnis has not devoted the necessary time to gather the information he feels he needs and to study it so he can make an honest declaration on why he supports or doesn’t support this expansion, rather than dodging the issue by saying he needs more information.

John Schmidt, Jack Cousins and John Lewis