House, Senate at odds over who goes first on Medicaid plan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican leaders in the state House and Senate are at odds about who should go first on taking up Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to extend health coverage to more than 200,000 low-income Tennesseans.

A special legislative session is scheduled to start on Feb. 2 to take up the proposal that many Republicans are wary of because it would tap federal money available under President Barack Obama’s health care law.

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick announced at the start of Friday’s floor session that he wanted to dispel what he called a “silly notion” among Senate Republicans that the lower chamber would take the lead on the measure.

Haslam said he expected the chambers to take up the measure simultaneously, but expects that their differences will be worked out.