Governor Leans Toward State-Run Exchange, Expects Political Push-Back

Gov. Bill Haslam says he leans toward the state running its own insurance exchange. A decision has to be made by November 16. Photo credit Blake Farmer/WPLN

Gov. Bill Haslam says he leans toward the state running its own insurance exchange. A decision has to be made by November 16. Photo credit Blake Farmer/WPLN

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam says he’d rather the state run its own insurance exchange program under the federal health care overhaul. But he’s holding off on making a final decision, which is required by the end of next week.

The Republican-led state legislature would have to sign off, and some lawmakers in the governor’s party are dubious.

“I think politically it will be difficult. In some other states, you had some governors who said they wanted to do it and a legislature that voted no. But I think the arguments haven’t been made yet.”

Haslam says a state exchange could create better tax situations for businesses that choose to use it to insure their employees. And Haslam says insurance companies who would offer plans on the exchange, tell him they’d prefer to work with states over the federal government.

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