Medicaid Expansion Ban Gains Momentum Against GOP Leadership Wishes

Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey wants to give Governor Haslam time to decide if he wants to allow expansion of Medicaid.

Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey wants to give Governor Haslam time to decide if he wants to allow expansion of Medicaid.

The legislation is sponsored by Brian Kelsey of Germantown, who doubts the federal government will pay for the expansion as advertised.

Governor Bill Haslam has asked for time to consider all the options, noting that rural hospitals could go out of business if more poor people aren’t insured.

Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says he believes hospitals have a tendency to cry “wolf,” but he’s also trying to slow down Kelsey’s expansion ban.

“I’m not signing on to the bill and I will encourage the sponsors of this to hold off and let’s get the facts in front of us first.”

In the state House, Speaker Beth Harwell has also asked lawmakers to give the governor room to make a decision. But the legislation banning Medicaid expansion already has nearly a quarter of that chamber as co-sponsors.

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