Echoes of TennCare feed state Medicaid misgivings

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Proponents of expanding Medicaid in Tennessee say the financial support from Washington is a deal too good to pass up.

But Tennessee is approaching the carrot warily, partly because of its experience as a pioneer in expanding Medicaid to cover the uninsured in the 1990s.

Federal funding for TennCare was cut after the White House and governorship changed hands, straining state financials and setting off a fight over taxes that reshaped Tennessee's political landscape.

That history is one reason why Gov. Bill Haslam is among the last Republican governors to decide whether to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Haslam's timeline for a decision signals announcement will come this week. The governor has said deciding to expand TennCare will require a lot of "selling" to get lawmakers on board.


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