After nearly a year of discussion, Tennessee’s governor is finally writing down what he wants a state’s Medicaid expansion to look like. Governor Bill Haslam says he’s sending a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Monday.
Haslam wants to use billions in federal dollars to help the working poor in Tennessee buy private health insurance, but the Governor doesn’t want to spend any state money. Sebelius has said she hasn’t seen a specific plan. Haslam says he wanted to wait, since federal officials have been preoccupied with the troubled roll out of healthcare.gov.
“Their plate’s been full recently, I guess I’ll just say that,” Haslam told reporters after speaking to the Nashville Rotary Club Monday afternoon. “But they continue to say ‘we’d love to do something with you’ and we continue to say ‘here’s what it would look like.’”
Haslam has repeatedly said he wants a plan that will pass muster with Washington and pass a Republican-dominated General Assembly. However, the Governor says he didn’t share his letter with GOP lawmakers prior to sending it.
Read the Governor’s letter to Secretary Secretary Sebelius here [PDF].