Statement by Craig Becker, President, Tennessee Hospital Association

Tennessee hospitals are disappointed Governor Haslam could not get the information he needs from CMS to move forward with coverage of the expansion population.

The governor has asked CMS to allow him to buy private coverage through the health insurance exchange for those who would be eligible under an expansion scenario. This would allow him to leverage the federal funding to transform health care in Tennessee without expanding the Medicaid rolls. Tennessee hospitals believe this is the correct approach for Tennessee.

We understand the need for clarity and we plan on working with the administration and the legislature to get the answers that will allow the state to move forward with coverage of additional Tennesseans with incomes less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

We are hopeful we will get the necessary assurances from the federal government. There can be a special session of the General Assembly if necessary to take advantage of the 100 percent federal funding available this year.

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