Business group backs TennCare expansion

Business group backs TennCare expansion

March 14th, 2013 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

NASHVILLE - Failure to expand TennCare under the federal Affordable Care Act would be a "job killer," according to the head of a new business group backing the move.

"Expansion is a win-win-win for Tennessee," said Dan Hogan with the Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee Economy. "Accepting this funding to retool, reform and expand Medicaid will help our economy, create jobs and provide care for a lot of families who would otherwise not have access to health insurance."

Hogan is CEO of Medalogix, a Nashville company, the former head of Fifth Third Bank's Tennessee operations.

He cited this week's report from Jackson Hewett Tax Service. The report says Tennessee companies employing 50 or more lower-paid workers are collectively staring at paying up to $90 million in annual tax penalties if the state rejects expanding TennCare.

"It's clear to businesses that rejecting this funding would be a 'job killer' as it would increase tax penalties on businesses by about 50 percent," Hogan said. "This burden will be borne by businesses and business owners all across the state."

The Chattanooga and Knoxville Chambers of Commerce have also endorsed the expansion. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is still studying the issue. A number of lawmakers in the GOP-run Legislature are opposed, but their leaders are still maintaining what they say is an "open mind."