Haslam Wants Federal Officials to Create Healthcare Waivers

Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Haslam spent the weekend in Washington where he and other governors asked the president and cabinet officials for more freedom from federal mandates.

In a question and answer session, the president told governors he wants to give states more autonomy, which many Republicans say is just lip service. But Governor Haslam praised the president for allowing states to have more flexibility under the rigid requirements of No Child Left Behind.

Now Haslam says he’d like that freedom when it comes to implementing the nation’s new health care law, which he’s highly critical of.

“Let’s set the criteria. Let’s set the performance standards we’re going to have. Let’s show how we’re going to measure improvement, and then let us run it just like you’re doing with No Child Left Behind. I think there’s a great corollary there.”

Tennessee is one of a handful of states that won waivers to the No Child Left Behind law by suggesting its own reform model.

The state has also received a million dollar grant to help officials start implementing the health insurance exchange established by the new health care law, but the governor says his administration still needs more flexibility in implementing the program than what’s currently allowed by the White House.

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