TennCare http://wkyufm.org en Tennessee Governor Seeking "Third Way' on Medicaid Expansion http://wkyufm.org/post/tennessee-governor-seeking-third-way-medicaid-expansion <p></p><p>Tennessee is not exactly saying “yes” to expanding the state’s Medicaid program – known as TennCare. But it’s not saying “no” either.</p><p>Governor Bill Haslam made the announcement this morning to a joint assembly of the legislature, telling lawmakers he’s been working toward a “third option.”</p><p>“To leverage the federal dollars available to our state to transform health care in Tennessee without expanding our TennCare rolls," said the Republican Governor.</p><p>Haslam says he’d like to use the federal money to buy private health insurance for Tennesseans who have no other way to get it. Wed, 27 Mar 2013 20:24:49 +0000 Blake Farmer 28603 at http://wkyufm.org Tennessee Governor Seeking "Third Way' on Medicaid Expansion Debate is Underway in Tennessee Over Costs of Expanding TennCare http://wkyufm.org/post/debate-underway-tennessee-over-costs-expanding-tenncare <p>Opponents of expanding TennCare as envisioned in the Affordable Care Act say the country can’t afford to add to the national debt. But hospitals in Tennessee are pushing back, saying the money amounts to just seven-thousandths of one percent of the country’s red ink.</p><p>Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Wright Pinson held up a sheet of paper with a pin dot in the middle, representing the potential savings for no expansion compared to the country’s $16 trillion debt.</p><p>“I think that you would agree that weighing all of the conflicting politics and data, the health and welfare of the citizens of Tennessee far outweigh this dot,” Pinson said.</p><p>The federal government would cover 100 percent of the costs in the first three years. Pinson says the state should take the money and worry about the future later. Wed, 13 Mar 2013 09:00:00 +0000 Blake Farmer 27847 at http://wkyufm.org In Tennessee, Some Critics of TennCare Expansion Could be Changing Course http://wkyufm.org/post/tennessee-some-critics-tenncare-expansion-could-be-changing-course <p>Previous naysayers are coming around to the idea of expanding TennCare. Even while criticizing the Affordable Care Act, they say pulling more poor people into the state’s Medicaid program could have some upsides.</p><p>Other Republican-led states have taken the leap, even as Governor Bill Haslam continues to weigh the pros and cons.</p><p>House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick says at first, all he could see was that after three years, the state would have to start picking up part of the tab.</p><p>“There are some other facts that have come to light since then that would offset some of those expenses. That’s why I have an open mind about it.” Fri, 08 Mar 2013 14:19:21 +0000 Blake Farmer 27649 at http://wkyufm.org Tennessee Governor Remains Uncomitted on Medicaid Expansion http://wkyufm.org/post/tennessee-governor-remains-uncomitted-medicaid-expansion <p>Lawmakers in Tennessee are watching Florida closely after the state’s conservative Republican governor went along with a major piece of the Affordable Care Act. Governor Bill Haslam is still on the fence about expanding the state’s Medicaid program – known as TennCare.</p><p>For the first three years, the federal government would pay the entire cost of insuring thousands of new TennCare recipients.</p><p>In Florida, Governor Rick Scott said he could not “in good conscience, deny the uninsured access to care.” Tennessee Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says having such a conservative leading the way could provide “cover” to lawmakers. But Governor Haslam would still have to sell an expansion, Ramsey says. Thu, 21 Feb 2013 19:34:27 +0000 Blake Farmer 26838 at http://wkyufm.org Tennessee Hospitals Say Not Expanding Medicaid Will Cost Thousands of Jobs http://wkyufm.org/post/tennessee-hospitals-say-not-expanding-medicaid-will-cost-thousands-jobs <p>Tennessee's hospitals are playing out the “what if’s” as lawmakers consider whether to expand Medicaid as part of the federal health care overhaul. Their study says 90,000 Tennessee jobs could be lost if the expansion does not occur.&nbsp;</p><p>Without expanding who is covered by Medicaid – known as TennCare in Tennessee – hospitals say there could be a “recessionary impact.” Hospitals agreed to cuts that total billions of dollars, believing they would see fewer uninsured. But that assumption is in jeopardy.</p><p>State Senator Brian Kelsey is trying to prevent the state from expanding Medicaid.</p><p>“Look, my job is not to bail out the special interest hospital lobby. My job is to represent Tennessee taxpayers," said the Germantown Republican. Thu, 07 Feb 2013 23:52:18 +0000 Blake Farmer 26121 at http://wkyufm.org