Statewide coalition forms to support Medicaid plan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – More than 80 business, health care and civic groups have formed the Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee to support Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to offer health coverage to more than 200,000 low-income Tennesseans.

Haslam’s “Insure Tennessee” plan would draw down federal money under President Barack Obama’s health care law. It faces stiff opposition among some fellow Republicans in the Legislature, though some previous skeptics have said they are encouraged by the governor’s deal with the federal government.

The coalition includes groups like the AARP, the Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship, the March of Dimes and several hospitals, insurers and chambers of commerce.

Coalition spokesman Charlie Howorth, the executive director of the Tennessee Business Roundtable, said that the group supports Haslam’s proposal because it is “clearly not just Medicaid expansion.”