Health
6:39 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Haslam: Decision on Medicaid Expansion to Come by End of the Month

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (right)
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (right)

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says he will make up his mind on whether to expand the state’s Medicaid program by the end of the month. He says he’ll leave time for the state legislature to consider his decision.

There’s no pressing deadline except that the state legislature intends to wrap up work in April and Haslam needs lawmakers to sign off either way. If he does go along with the Affordable Care Act and expand the state’s Medicaid program, it could take a lot of convincing.  

“If the decision is no, then their discussion is short I think. If the decision is yes, then I think they’ll need a decent amount of time to discuss that,” said the Republican Governor.

Two Republican lawmakers are still trying to advance bills that would bar the state from expanding Medicaid. They argue the state still can’t afford it even though the federal government pays the bill for the first three years.

Democrats – outnumbered two to one – say the state can’t afford not to expand Medicaid, if for no other reason than to keep some struggling hospitals afloat.

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