published Friday, February 7th, 2014

Tennessee lawmaker seeks Medicaid expansion information

NASHVILLE — The top House Democratic leader is asking the Obama administration to turn over documents detailing Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s interactions with the administration on his Medicaid expansion proposal.

House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, said in a statement to the Times Free Press that he took the unusual step of filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to see what the problems are that Haslam says has caused him to forgo expansion for now.

“We take the governor at his word that he is negotiating in good faith with [the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] and HHS,” Fitzhugh said.

But he added that “for a year, we have asked to see his plan, to understand the sticking points. That information hasn’t been forthcoming, so we’re trying a little different route this time. We want to understand the sticking points, so that we can hopefully be helpful in a resolution.”

Fitzhugh’s request asks for all written and electronic communications between Tennessee and HHS officials on Medicaid expansion.

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