Haslam Waiting for Fed Answers on TennCare Expansion, Health Exchange Decisions

Gov. Bill Haslam said Tuesday that “two immediate decisions” state lawmakers face next year are whether to expand TennCare and also whether to form a state-run health insurance exchange, reports the Kingsport Times-News.
“We haven’t gotten the answers from the federal government. … They haven’t told us how it will work,” Haslam, a Republican, said of those decisions after addressing about 175 business and government leaders at a Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
Both decisions are related to the federal health care reform law — also known as the Affordable Care Act — that could stand intact or be reshaped depending on the November presidential and congressional elections.
TennCare is the state’s $8 billion federally supported Medicaid program for low-income Tennesseans. The health care reform law calls for either the state or federal government to run an exchange creating a new marketplace in health insurance.

Note: As previously posted, two Republican legislators are planning to file a bill prohibiting expansion of TennCare despite the governor’s wait-and-see approach. The Commercial Appeal has a story today on the push by Sen. Brian Kelsey and a soon-to-be-elected GOP representative.

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