NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Governor Bill Haslam will be getting plenty of help when he attempts to win legislative approval for the plan called Insure Tennessee that would provide health care for 200,000 low income Tennesseans.
It comes from a group called Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee.
“They volunteered themselves but, obviously, we will be working alongside of them as we try to get it passed,” said the governor about the group.
The Coalition announced itself, complete with a website, just hours after the governor’s announcement Monday.
“This is really about the working poor, the underemployed and there’s personal responsibility involved,” said St. Thomas Health executive Nancy Anness. “Insure Tennessee is going to cover folks who have probably never had health insurance before.”
The health care group is just one of around 80 businesses, civic groups and other health care organizations that make up the Coalition.
Anness, who is also a nurse practitioner, listed why groups like hers are behind the governor’s plan, which uses federal Medicaid expansion money to help people buy insurance while requiring things like co-pays and deductibles.
“Its really a step toward health care reform, payment reform,” added Anness. The governor and the Coalition will be trying to sway key lawmakers like House Republican Caucus chair Glen Casada.
“I am going to have to be convinced,” he told News 2. “Maybe I am missing something, but there is something there that has merit, economically, so I am going to read the bill, I have got to be convinced.”
What lawmakers will actually see is called a waiver that details how Tennessee’s plan will differ from traditional Medicaid coverage for low income individuals.
The governor indicated it will likely be in some sort of document form by early next year as lawmakers begin their annual session.