House GOP leader says Insure Tennessee would pass floor vote - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

House GOP leader says Insure Tennessee would pass floor vote

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By ERIK SCHELZIG, Associated Press

NASHVILLE, TN (AP) - House Republican leader Gerald McCormick says Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans would pass comfortably in a full floor vote, but faces "challenges" in committees.

McCormick spoke in the first committee hearing Tuesday about the measure called Insure Tennessee. Opponents wearing red t-shirts arrived early and snapped up most of the available seating at the hearing.

Haslam stresses that his Insure Tennessee proposal is different than straight Medicaid expansion because it would offer vouchers to buy private insurance and require co-pays for services. But opponents note that the program is funded through federal dollars available under President Barack Obama's health care law.

No votes on the bill were expected in House committees on Tuesday as Haslam administration officials and opponents laid out their cases.

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