Tennessee's U.S. Senators are urging the federal government to work with Governor Bill Haslam on his plan to expand health care coverage to 175,000 Tennesseans under the new healthcare law.
Wednesday, Governor Haslam announced that he will not expand TennCare rolls under the Affordable Care Act. Instead, he wants to take the available federal dollars to purchase private health insurance for Tennesseans who would not otherwise have access to coverage.
Republican Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker sent a letter Thursday to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. In it, they said "We write to ask that you give timely and speedy consideration to a request announced today by Governor Bill Haslam to provide health care coverage to 175,000 Tennesseans by leveraging available federal dollars in the new exchange."
They continued: "Nashville is the health care services capital of the country and if your Department would support Tennessee in doing what the state does best, Tennessee will continue to find innovative ways to provide better care for its citizens. We urge you to work with Governor Haslam to implement his vision for achieving quality health care for Tennesseans by Tennesseans, particularly for those who currently do not have health insurance."
The senators added: "In this time of state budget constraints it is more important than ever that states have the necessary flexibility to determine how best to care for its citizens."