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Friday, February 08, 2019

Medicaid expansion
Republican legislative leaders in Tennessee have blocked proposals to expand TennCare with federal funding. That funding would bring in $3.8 million daily from Washington and provide health insurance for 280,000 low income state residents. Now they are looking at a plan to shift to a federal block grant system by Republican legislative leaders are eyeing a plan they hope could eventually boost health care coverage to more of Tennessee's working poor by shifting to a federal block grant system. The bill seeks to have federal block grant funding tied to increases in the TennCare population and inflation. Proponents say fewer strings could lead to cost savings. The low-wage workers might be able to use the money to afford their employers' health insurance coverage if the Trump administration agrees. It would hinge on the Trump administration's willingness to approve a block grant program for all of TennCare, or just the expansion population. The Republican-dominated Legislature in 2015 rejected then-Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee plan to cover an estimated 280,000 to 300,000 low-income working adults under the Affordable Care Act. Repeated efforts by minority Democrats to resurrect the proposal have gone nowhere. Thirty-four states, including a number of Republican-governed states, and the District of Columbia have since adopted Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Senate Minority Leader Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville, called "expanding access to affordable health care a pivotal, necessary conversation for the state that we're way behind having." During his campaign last year, now-Gov.Bill Lee opposed expanding Medicaid under the ACA, saying "expanding Medicaid is not the solution." He pledged to address rising costs. Speaking Thursday with reporters after an address to the Tennessee Press Association, Lee said "my position on Medicaid expansion hasn't changed. We absolutely want to find solutions. And it's really important we do that." Regarding the idea of block grants, the governor noted, "the legislature is looking at that. I will look at whatever they propose, certainly want to work with the federal government in any way we can, primarily to lower costs with our existing system and then to see where we go from there." He also added: "As I've said before, Medicaid expansion isn't the way to go, but lowering the cost of health care so more people can afford it is the way to go." waiving existing Medicaid rules.


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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

  • House approves voucher bill
  • Newport City Council special meeting
  • Newport Utilities
  • Drug take-back

    Tuesday, April 23, 2019

  • Six injured in crash
  • Cocke Finance Committee
  • Cocke County grand jury
  • Legislative action

    Monday, April 22, 2019

  • Cocke County flooding
  • Tennessee jobs
  • NFL draft coming to Nashville
  • Earth Day
  • Sturgein release

    Saturday, April 20, 2019

  • Turner arrest
  • Southerland report
  • Unemployment in Tennessee
  • Mueller report

    Friday, April 19, 2019

  • TDOT projects
  • Cocke County Partnership
  • Voucher plan may be stalled
  •    

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