Haslam to Tennesseans: Get Healthy or More Budget Cuts

Unless Tennesseans make an effort to improve personal health, they could see more budget cuts in their children’s education as health-care costs continue to drain the state budget, Gov. Bill Haslam said Thursday.
A quote from the Tennessean story on the governor setting up a task force to study health care with Dr. Bill Frist, former U.S. Senate majority leader, and others:
“If you look at the portion that the state paid of the total cost for a student 40 years ago compared to now, our share is just about a half of what it used to be,” Haslam said. “And you say, ‘That is the state not doing its job — why not?’ Well, real simple. We are spending that much more in health care.”
(The task force goal is) to improve Tennesseans’ health specifically to save money on health care — funds that could then be funneled into education and other areas affected by budget cuts.
Haslam said almost one-third of the state’s budget is dedicated to health care. He gathered with leaders, including Dr. John Lacey III, chief medical officer and senior vice president of the University of Tennessee Medical Center who chairs the task force, and former Sen. Bill Frist, who will act as an adviser to the task force, at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel.

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