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Doctors Explains Medicaid Decision, Residents on Both Sides

By Laura Bannon
By lbannon@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - From the governor's office, the state of Tennessee is not going through with expanding Medicaid.

"The reality of the matter is from the statistics, if Tennessee accepts the federal money we are going to have 140,000 extra patients," explained Dr. Elie Korban at Regional Hospital.

Governor Bill Haslam instead hopes the president will approve the $2 billion to fund what he calls the "Tennessee Plan."

"This is truly interesting. It makes more sense for many reasons because it would cover more patients. 175 more patients. They want to use the money from the federal government and subsidize to buy private insurances,," said Dr. Korban.

Lisa Finley was unsure of how she felt about this decision and explained, "To me, it would be hard for them to go out to get private insurances because it's so expensive."

If the Tennessee Plan is not approved by the Obama Administration, then those in need of Medicaid could not enroll in this plan.

"What's covered today, what's going on today will stay as it is. So really we have over 150,000 Tennesseans not covered," said Dr. Korban.

James Kelley is a supporter of Governor Haslam's decision and explains that a decision like this is something you cannot just take when given the first offer. "If you go buy a car, you can't have somebody set the prices on it, you go shopping around and get the deal. It's the same thing with insurance," said Kelley.
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