The Tennessee House has approved legislation requiring Governor Bill Haslam to get legislative approval if he decides to expand the state’s Medicaid program, TennCare. Meanwhile, the Governor is still working on an expansion compromise with the federal government.
The House measure requires the Governor to get the General Assembly’s explicit permission before expanding TennCare to about 175,000 more Tennesseans under the Affordable Care Act. The measure awaits discussion in the state Senate.
Governor Haslam has already said he would get legislative approval on any potential expansion.
Last year, Governor Haslam declined federal Medicaid money under the Affordable Care Act, saying he wouldn’t consider expanding Medicaid in the state without a special compromise. The Governor says he’s waiting for a response from US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on that compromise.
The Governor wants to use federal Medicaid funding to subsidize private insurance and to offer incentives to promote healthier lifestyles. Negotiations so far appear to have stalled.