Tennessee doctor says his healthcare program prompted his U.S. Senate run

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) Dr. Manny Sethi says his time traveling Tennessee as part of the health care program he started prompted his run, announced last week, for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate. 

Tennessee Republicans gather Saturday for their annual state fundraiser, but question number one among the donors is likely who else will be in the Senate race. Others, such as former Governor Bill Haslam and Congressman Mark Green, may follow.

Dr. Sethi is not a well-known name in Tennessee politics, but he’s attracted attention in recent years that goes right to the top. In early 2017, the Vanderbilt Medical Center trauma surgeon was asked to brief President Trump about Healthy Tennessee.

Healthy Tennessee is a non-profit billed as providing health education, community training, and some free medical screenings statewide.

Dr. Sethi says what he learned with the program led him to the Senate run 

I think folks need a voice and that is why I want to do this and that is over 10 years, he told WKRN on the day of his Senate announcement. As I have been traveling, I have been thinking about it.

Dr. Sethi borrows a phrase from Bill Lee’s successful Republican run for Governor by calling himself a conservative outsider. His passion about national healthcare change showed up in his first week of interviews that included a stop on WKRN’s This Week with Bob Mueller.

We have to talk about prevention, but we are not doing that right now, because with Obamacare, the thought is you have insurance, so you have health (care), so you have access. But you don’t, so we have to change that, so as a doctor in the Senate I will, said Sethi on the WKRN show this past weekend.

Tennessee has had a surgeon in the U.S. Senate before when Dr. Bill Frist served from 1995-2007, including the last four as Republican Majority Leader.

Dr. Sethi called Frist a lifelong mentor.  

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