Haslam: State Ready for Supreme Court Ruling

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam says the state is ready for Thursday’s expected Supreme Court ruling on the federal healthcare overhaul, no matter what the Court decides. That’s because the state has been carefully keeping its options open for the last year.

If the federal law stands, the state’s main responsibility would be setting up an insurance exchange. It’d be a state-run website like Expedia where people could comparison-shop for health insurance. The state’s been using federal grants to pay for planning its exchange, so Haslam says it’s ready, whichever way the Supreme Court decides.

“You know, if they don’t strike it down, we’re on that path. Obviously I’m hoping that they do, because I think it saves the state money long-term, and that’ll make things easier. But I think we’ve played this right in the sense of being ready either way it goes.”

If the Supreme Court doesn’t strike down the law, it could still be undone by this fall’s election. But Haslam argues the state will still be holding its cards then, saying its next big move toward an exchange won’t come until state lawmakers reconvene in January.

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