Haslam convenes special session on Insure Tennessee, saying stat - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Haslam convenes special session on Insure Tennessee, saying state can't 'do nothing'

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. AP photo Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. AP photo

Governor Bill Haslam spoke before the General Assembly Monday, promising that his "Insure Tennessee" plan, is not Obamacare for Tennessee.

Governor Haslam, "I think it's the right plan for tennessee, or i wouldn't have proposed it."

Lawmakers have started a special legislative session to decide the fate of "Insure Tennessee," which would expand health insurance to hundreds of thousands of uncovered Tennesseans.

The Affordable Care Act made federal funds available that would allow states to expand their medicaid programs.

Haslam told lawmakers his system uses federal dollars to fix the "broken" health care system while lowering costs.

Supporters say the plan helps the working poor, people who, for the most part, have jobs but can't afford health insurance.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says his proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans is needed to improve lives.

Haslam told lawmakers Monday night it's also needed to fix what Haslam calls a "broken health care system."

Haslam's plan calls on state hospitals to pay the $74 million state share to draw down $2.8 billion dollars in federal Medicaid money to offer coverage to more uninsured Tennesseans.

But many fellow Republicans in the Legislature are dubious about Haslam's plan because it relies on funds available under President Barack Obama's health care law.

Haslam asked lawmakers to look past the proposal's connection to Obama, and reassured them the state has the right to end the program.

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