Haslam urges lawmakers to look beyond politics on Medicaid

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam is urging fellow Republicans to look beyond political considerations as they prepare to vote on a revived version of his Insure Tennessee proposal.

Haslam tells reporters that he spent the weekend talking to fellow Republicans on the state Senate Commerce Committee that is scheduled to take up the measure on Tuesday.

Under the governor’s two-year pilot program, hospitals would cover the $74 million state share to draw down $2.8 billion in federal Medicaid money to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans.

While GOP lawmakers in recent years have been happy to approve hospital fees to draw down billions of federal dollars to support their operations, they have balked at the most recent plan largely because of its ties to President Barack Obama’s health care law.