Health Care
7:17 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Hospitals, Democrats See Opening for Tennessee Medicaid Expansion

Credit Wikimedia Commons

On a day when the Republican-led state of New Jersey moved to expand it’s Medicaid program, hospitals and Democrats see an opening in Tennessee. The Tennessee Hospital Association released a poll showing a majority of residents want expansion.

Nearly 60 percent of respondents to the hospital association’s poll said the state should accept federal dollars to expand it’s health insurance program for the poor as envisioned in the Affordable Care Act.

THA president Craig Becker says he’s also seen a softening among state lawmakers.

“We started with many of our legislators back in the summertime with basically a ‘hell no.’ Now we’ve moved ourselves much closer I think where they’re willing to be open to hear what we have to say,” he said.

Becker claims some rural facilities could close. Because of cuts, he says hospitals need the hundreds of thousands of paying customers Medicaid expansion would provide.

Democrats are also now pushing for an up or down vote. They say they’re tired of waiting for Gov. Bill Haslam to make a decision.

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