Medicaid expansion

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An expansion of Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is one step closer in Illinois. The state Senate passed the expansion 40 - 19 yesterday. The bill now goes to the House.

Nearly 2.8 million Illinois residents are currently covered by Medicaid, the government health program for the poor and disabled. And starting in 2014, an estimated 600,000 uninsured Illinois residents would be newly eligible for coverage. The expansion would mainly benefit low-income adults who don't have children at home.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam may be able to negotiate beneficial terms for the state to participate in federally-funded Medicaid expansion. But his GOP colleagues in the Legislature may not let him get to that point. Republican bills before both chambers of the General Assembly would prohibit the governor from pursuing an expansion to TennCare, the state's expanded Medicaid program.

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