No Medicaid decision in Haslam budget address

5:57 PM, Jan 28, 2013   |    comments
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By ERIK SCHELZIG / Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says his annual State of the State address won't include a decision on whether the state should expand eligibility to Medicaid.

Under health care law, the federal government would pay 100 percent of cost increases for the expansion in the first three years and 90 percent thereafter. But the Republican-dominated Legislature is skeptical of most facets of President Obama's health care initiative.

The governor said the $32 billion spending plan will begin to feel the pressure of increased Medicaid costs because several health care provisions will go into effect halfway through the upcoming  budget year.

Haslam said he will also announce "significant" spending on construction and maintenance at state colleges and universities and that he will make a large deposit in the state's cash reserve fund.

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