Haslam won't expand TennCare, proposes alternate plan - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Haslam won't expand TennCare, proposes alternate plan

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Photo credit: Times Free Press Photo credit: Times Free Press

NASHVILLE, TN (WRCB) -- Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced Wednesday he will not expand TennCare rolls under the Affordable Care Act.

Instead, he unveiled his plan to pursue "real health care reform." The plan involves working to leverage the available federal dollars to purchase private health insurance for Tennesseans who would not otherwise have access to coverage.

"Tennessee has shown the nation how to produce true reform in education, based on students' results and educational outcome.  We're beginning to do the same thing with reforming government service – again by measuring outcome and results rather than just years of service as a state employee," Haslam said.  "I believe Tennessee can also be a model for what true health care reform looks like; reform that will take significant steps to save the state and the nation from the unsustainable path we are on now."

Haslam's plan involves four main points: leverage available federal dollars to purchase private health insurance for those who don't have access, allow co-pays for those who can afford to pay something, include a definitive circuit-breaker or sunset of the plan that could only be renewed with the General Assembly's approval and reform the payment structure for providers so they are compensated for health outcomes, not just based on services performed.

"To succeed, we also need cooperation from the Department of Health and Human Service (HHS), and we can't get the same assurances from them at this point. Until we get those assurances, I cannot recommend that we move forward on this plan," says Haslam.

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