Haslam on ‘Encouraging’ Talk with Obama

Gov. Bill Haslam called Monday’s meeting between the nation’s governors and President Barack Obama “encouraging,” reports The Tennessean. He said the president expressed a willingness to give states more flexibility in enacting certain federal programs.
Monday’s session at the White House marked the end of the annual winter meeting of the National Governors Association. The Obamas hosted a black-tie dinner for the governors on Sunday night. Topics included education and high gas prices, but the governors’ biggest concern is the high cost of Medicaid, Haslam said.
He said governors pushed Obama to give states more control over Medicaid spending. Some governors have sought waivers that would allow their states to enact cuts to Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program known as TennCare in Tennessee.
“If you ask every governor here what is the pressure point, it’s all about Medicaid spending,” Haslam said in a brief interview on the north lawn of the White House.

And this quote from WPLN on Haslam urging more flexibility in implementing the federal health care law: “Let’s set the criteria. Let’s set the performance standards we’re going to have. Let’s show how we’re going to measure improvement, and then let us run it just like you’re doing with No Child Left Behind. I think there’s a great corollary there.”

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