published Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Gov. Bill Haslam's efforts to expand Medicaid hit another road block

NASHVILLE -- Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's effort to win federal approval of his Medicaid-expansion plan is running into some of the same concerns from newly confirmed U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell as he faced from her predecessor.

Haslam said he personally spoke with the secretary about his long-stalled effort to gain federal approval for his "Tennessee Plan" on expanding Medicaid to an additional 160,000 low-income people under the Affordable Care Act.

Haslam also said he broached with her the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services chief's recent harsh critique of his administration's failure to provide an adequate application process for TennCare, the state's version of Medicaid, under the ACA.

Among the criticisms: Tennessee's $35 million new computer system is still not up and running.

While Haslam described the overall conversation with Burwell as "positive," he said the secretary's position on his "Tennessee Plan" remains that "there are some bright lines which they don't think they can cross. There's some other areas they want to be very flexible."

Read more in Monday's Times Free Press.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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