Haslam Sees Medicaid Expansion As Component Of Healthier Tennessee

Gov. Haslam takes questions from reporters on Monday. He spent last week touring the state to talk about Healthier Tennessee, a $6 million health and wellness initiative. Credit: TN Photo Services via Flickr

Gov. Haslam takes questions from reporters on Monday. He spent last week touring the state to talk about Healthier Tennessee, a $6 million health and wellness initiative. Credit: TN Photo Services via Flickr

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has been hounded for spending a week promoting a $6 million health and wellness initiative, even while rejecting more than a billion dollars to expand the state’s health insurance program for the poor.

Haslam was asked Monday if he sees a disconnect.

“There are a lot of behavioral things that impact people’s health. The decision to exercise, the decision to eat better, the decision not to use tobacco do impact that. Obviously we have another decision we’re still working on with expanding Medicaid. Both of them – long-term – are addressing how do have a healthier Tennessee.”

Haslam has been trying to add uninsured Tennesseans to the state’s Medicaid program without committing any state money to do it. However, he hasn’t gotten approval from the White House.

Haslam says he will travel to Washington D.C. later this month to continue discussions. He has said he needs an answer by the end of the summer.

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