Freshman lawmaker: Block expanded Medicaid in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Freshman state Rep. Jeremy Durham has filed a House bill seeking to block Tennessee from expanding Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul.

Durham noted the experience of TennCare, the state's expanded Medicaid program that was plagued by out-of-control costs until former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen made deep cuts to enrollment and benefits in 2005.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has not said whether he will pursue Medicaid expansion, which hospitals say would make up for heavy losses from changes in federal reimbursements.

The federal government would pick up the full costs of Medicaid expansion for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter.

Durham said Thursday that his bill has 21 co-sponsors, including Republican House Caucus Chairman Glen Casada and House Finance Chairman Charles Sargent. All three are Franklin Republicans.


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