Federal Letter On TennCare Failings Surprised Haslam

Governor Bill Haslam sat on a panel about health care at the National Governor's Association meeting, though there was no discussion about the Affordable Care Act. (Photo: TN Photo Services)

Governor Bill Haslam sat on a panel about health care at the National Governor’s Association meeting, though there was no discussion about the Affordable Care Act. (Photo: TN Photo Services)

Tennessee officials have until Monday to respond to a letter sent by Washington about the shortcomings of TennCare. Governor Bill Haslam said at the National Governor Association Meeting over the weekend that he’s not worried about losing federal funding.

Thousands of Tennesseans are not getting access to subsidized health care because state officials are failing to following rules set forth in the Affordable Care Act. That’s the gist of a letter sent to the state last week.

WPLN asked Governor Bill Haslam about the letter.

“We obviously don’t agree totally with that letter, and we’ll have a response,” Haslam said. Asked what he made of the letter’s stern tone, Haslam replied: “Again, we were surprised because that’s the conversations we’ve been having with them.”

Haslam says TennCare enrollee numbers are at an all-time high. Yet the federal government says the state’s Medicaid program isn’t accessible enough.

Haslam and other state leaders sat on a panel about health care at the governor’s meeting. But the obvious big topics, the Affordable Care Act and Tennessee not expanding Medicaid, were never addressed.

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