US labor secretary lauds federal health care law

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez decried criticism of the federal health care law and urged Tennesseans to sign up for coverage, saying it’s working for millions of Americans.

Perez visited Lentz Public Health Center in Nashville on Wednesday where he spoke to reporters and held a round-table discussion on open enrollment and health insurance options under the federal Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment started Nov. 15 and ends on Feb. 15.

When a reporter asked Perez about Tennessee congressional Republicans who have heavily criticized the law, Perez noted that some predicted Medicare to fail when it was first introduced, but it hasn’t.

Perez also discussed Medicaid expansion in Tennessee. Gov. Bill Haslam has said he’s continuing to talk with Washington about the issue.

Perez said he doesn’t know how those negotiations are going, but applauds those governors who have expanded Medicaid.