Senate panel advances Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A revived version of Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans has cleared its first full Senate committee.

The Senate Health Committee voted 6-2 on Wednesday to advance the Insure Tennessee proposal.

It now heads to the commerce committee, where it is expected to face difficult prospects. Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey has predicted that the measure won’t make it to a full floor vote.

Haslam had been rejected in his previous attempt to seek authorization for the plan during a special legislative session last month.

The renewed measure is sponsored by Sen. Jeff Yarbro, a freshman Democrat from Nashville.

The resolution would allow Haslam to draw down $2.8 billion in federal Medicaid money. State hospitals have agreed to cover the state’s $74 million share.