Tennessee physicians back Haslam's insurance plan

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam listens to a question during a news conference after speaking to a joint session of the Legislature on Wednesday in Nashville. Haslam announced that he won't pursue expanding the state's Medicaid program to help cover the uninsured as part of the federal Affordable Care Act.

NASHVILLE - The state's largest physicians' organization says it is fully backing Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal to extend subsidized health insurance coverage to an estimated 200,000 lower-income residents.

Tennessee Medical Association officials said the group's Board of Trustees voted over the weekend in support of the plan.

"A cornerstone of our mission is to help make accessible, affordable medical care a reality for Tennessee patients. Insure Tennessee supports that vision," said TMA President Dr. Doug Springer in a news release.

The TMA adopted policy in 2013 supporting access to affordable healthcare for all Tennesseans.

"Expanding health insurance can improve patients' access to quality care, naturally leading to a healthier population, and a higher quality of life in our state," Springer said.

Haslam has called Tennessee legislators into a special session on Feb. 2 to consider the plan.