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Supporters of Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal console one another after attending a meeting of the Senate Commerce Committee to hear debate on the measure Tuesday, March 31, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. The proposal to extend health coverage to about 280,000 low-income Tennesseans was defeated 6-2. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE -- Fresh off last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld one key provision of the federal Affordable Care Act, supporters of Gov. Bill Haslam's failed Insure Tennessee plan are renewing their push to pass the Medicaid expansion to an estimated 280,000 low-income Tennesseans.

Backer of the plan, including state Sen. Richard Briggs, R-Knoxville, U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., business leaders and others filled an auditorium at St. Thomas Midtown Hospital in Nashville today for a news conference.

"We are delighted with the Supreme Court decision," said Charlie Howarth, executive director of the Tennessee Business Roundtable. 

But Howarth said while they're "grateful" for the U.S. Supreme Court's 6-3 decision, which  allows federal tax subsidies to continue for people on federally run health insurance exchanges in states like Tennessee that don't operate their own exchanges, "there are still millions of Americans and thousands of Tennesseans who still don't have access to care."

Republican-controlled Senate committees twice rejected Haslam's Insure Tennessee plan last session. Some lawmakers' objections included the uncertainty of the health insurance exchange issue.

"Now that the Supreme Court has given us the green light, it's time for the state legislature to move forward," Cooper said.

Read more in Tuesday's Times Free Press.

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