NASHVILLE - The Senate took final action today on a one-year extension of 4.52 percent "assessment" on hospitals, sending the bill to Gov. Bill Haslam, who is expected to sign the measure.
Senators voted 30-0 on the measure, which passed the House last week.
It will raise $450 million and bring an additional $842 million in federal matching funds for the state's TennCare program.
Lawmakers and hospitals insist the measure, first implemented three years, is not a tax because hospitals sought the legislation to avoid draconian cut to TennCare.
Sen. Ken Yager, R-Harriman, said the bill has kept one of the five community hospitals in his district from closing.
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., has said he would like to do away with such revenue-raising bills for Medicaid, although he took advantage of them himself in the mid-1990s when he was state finance commissioner.