UPDATE: Haslam announces "Insure Tennessee" 2 year pilot program
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. AP photo
By LUCAS L. JOHNSON II, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, TN (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam says he has reached a deal with federal officials to expand Medicaid in Tennessee.
The Republican governor announced the agreement on Monday after months of discussions with federal authorities.
Called Insure Tennessee, the program will provide coverage for the state's uninsured without creating new taxes for Tennesseans. Under the plan, members would receive a voucher to purchase insurance in the private market.
Health care advocates heavily criticized Haslam for refusing last year to agree to $1.4 billion in federal funds to cover about 180,000 uninsured Tennesseans under the terms the money was offered. Nine other Republican governors have agreed to expanded Medicaid, and at least three more are in discussions with federal officials.
A Vanderbilt poll released this month said 56 percent supported expanding Medicaid for low-income residents.
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