Cooper Defends State Share of Health Care Overhaul

Nashville Congressman Jim Cooper says states need to shoulder some of the costs to expand insurance coverage as part of any health care overhaul.

Historically, states have paid one-third of the cost to run Medicaid programs like TennCare. The federal government pays for the rest. The Senate Finance Committee’s legislation asks that states cover just 10% of the new expense to expand Medicaid, and Congressman Cooper says that’s justified.

“I worry if we make it completely free to the states, and the feds pay 100%, that would void the federal/state partnership. It would no longer be a partnership. It would be a federal program.”

Cooper says without some cost sharing, there’s no point in having states involved in the Medicaid program at all. That said, the Nashville Democrat says he’s looking for ways to minimize any financial harm to states struggling with budget deficits.

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