Health care compact falls short in Tenn. House

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A proposal that would allow Tennessee to join an interstate compact challenging the federal health care law has failed in the House.

The chamber voted 45-26 along partisan lines to approve the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Mark Pody of Lebanon. But that was five votes short of the majority needed to pass measures in the 99-member chamber.

The legislation would provide a waiver for each participating state to create its own health care system. Sponsors say the proposal is intended to give Tennesseans more choices concerning health care if the compact were approved by Congress.

The House had earlier approved a change to make Tennessee's participation in the compact optional. That provision was taken out in the Senate.

Twenty-eight members were either absent or abstained on the vote.

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