Haslam says Medicaid deal unlikely before new year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam says it is unlikely the state will hammer out a deal with the federal government on Medicaid expansion before the new year.

The Republican governor told reporters in Nashville on Wednesday that negotiations have been hampered by the problems with the online insurance marketplaces.

Haslam said the federal government officials that the state has been in discussions with have been busy dealing with the federal exchange website serving 36 states including Tennessee.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday set a Nov. 30 deadline for fixing the problems that have overwhelmed the website intended to make shopping for insurance clear and simple.

Haslam in March declined $1.4 billion in federal funds to cover about 140,000 uninsured Tennesseans under the terms the money was offered.

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