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Governor Haslam Will Not Expand Medicaid Coverage Right Now

by on Monday, April 8, 2013

Governor Bill Haslam made his long-awaited decision on expanding Medicaid on March 27th, where he announced that he would not expand Medicaid coverage now, but perhaps later, under the right circumstances.  The governor made the much anticipated announcement in an address to a joint session of the Tennessee General Assembly.  The governor said he would not recommend Tennessee move toward accepting billions of federal dollars made available for expanding TennCare under the Affordable Care Act.  Instead he offered what he called the “Tennessee Plan”, a hybrid plan similar to what has been proposed in Arkansas, who chose to use the federal funds to purchase private insurance plans for eligible recipients. 

 Nationally, the American Heart Association has come out in favor of expanding Medicaid to improve health care for low-income families and individuals.  In Tennessee, the expansion of Medicaid would mean more than 181,000 low-income Tennesseans would be provided the security of quality health coverage in the first year.  It is still unclear as to what impact Governor Haslam’s decision will have in its current form.

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