The House Minority leader has cast doubt on whether his caucus will support the governor’s Insure Tennessee plan, citing concerns about whether the working poor can afford the co-pays and whether there is any assurance beleagured hospitals will afford to stay open.
Further from Andrea Zelinski:
“Make no mistake, Democrats want to support this,” said Rep. Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley. “We’d like a broader Medicaid expansion plan but we know that’s not going to happen and we’re ready to compromise. But we have to have some assurance what we’re compromising for protects people, it’s a people-based compromise not a politics-based compromise.”
Gov. Bill Haslam said last week he expects to need all of the Democratic votes in order to get legislation passed to move his Insure Tennessee plan forward. If a vote was taken today, Fitzhugh said, only 10 in his 26-member caucus would vote in favor.
Fitzhugh said key concerns his members have include how much the plans will cost; whether cooperative health plans will be included; can someone who makes $16,000 a year afford the co-pays; what would be the potential for cost overruns of the program and would the state would be responsible for them; will hospitals on the verge of closing be able to stay open; what happens if the federal government doesn’t approve the state’s request.