Haslam: Decision coming this week on Medicaid expansion

6:05 PM, Mar 26, 2013   |    comments
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Nearly a dozen supporters of the Medicaid expansion gathered outside the Double Tree Inn Tuesday afternoon, where the governor was meeting for a lunch with the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce.

They asked the governor to expand Medicaid to 140,000 Tennesseans under the Affordable Care Act

The federal government would pay for 100% of the costs for the first three years, but opponents of the expansion worry the feds could pull funding at anytime, putting high costs on the state.

Supporters say it's not about the finances but rather the welfare of Tennesseans.

"I want Governor Haslam to expand Medicaid for the health of Tennesseans and for the health of our hospitals," said demonstrator Nancy Munro.

Governor Haslam said he would make a decision on expanding the program by the end of March.

He told 10News he has concerns with the Affordable Care Act and how much it could cost Tennessee.

He did not indicate which way he's leaning, just that he wants what's best for the state.

"Health care expansion is a process. We are actually going to announce the decision this week. There are people on both sides of that that have very passionate feelings. Our goal is to do something that will be affordable for Tennessee, provide the best health care we can for our citizens, and yet to do that in a way that long term really does reform health care," said Gov. Haslam.

Shortly after meeting with the media,  the governor briefly spoke with the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce.  He discussed the future of Tennessee businesses and how they can work to be more innovative for the state.

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