Haslam may not be given choice on Medicaid growth

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Given a little time, Gov. Bill Haslam may be able to negotiate beneficial terms for Tennessee to participate in federally-funded Medicaid expansion. But his Republican colleagues in the Legislature may not let him get to that point.

Republican bills before both chambers of the General Assembly would prohibit the governor from pursuing an expansion to TennCare, the state's expanded Medicaid program.

Haslam told reporters last week that the maneuvering in the Legislature hasn't stopped him from closely evaluating the prospect of increasing eligibility to 138 percent of poverty.

Haslam said Tennessee could be granted flexibly on benefits for the estimated 145,500 people would be added to the TennCare rolls that would make the program more affordable in the years after the federal government stops covering 100 percent of the cost.

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