Haslam not sure he made right choice on Obamacare

Haslam not sure he made right choice on Obamacare

October 30th, 2013 by Andy Sher in Local Regional News

Bill Haslam

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - Gov. Bill Haslam says the most recent figure the state has on Tennesseans successfully enrolling in the troubled federal health insurance exchange comes to just a few hundred, but the Republican isn't sure whether or not he erred by refusing to create the state's own online marketplace.

"The last time I heard the number was something in the low hundreds - 250 or 300" who successfully enrolled, Haslam told reporters today. "I do not have a new number on that. Obviously, that's been disappointing for everybody."

Earlier in the day, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius apologized for the rocky rollout of the agency's website in which only 700,000 people nationwide have been able to complete applications during much of the October roll out.

As for whether he has regrets about not pursing a Tennessee-run exchange, Haslam said some states like Kentucky have done quite well with their changes. But other states haven't, he noted.

"It's hard to know the exact answer to that," the governor said. "I do know in the end we felt like it was their [Obama administration's] program. They're the ones who suggested it and it would be better in this initial stage if they ran it."

He added "the thought being, at the time, that having two cooks in the kitchen when you're trying to put together something that complex would make it that much more difficult."