AG says Tenn. would have right to cancel Medicaid expansion

Governor Bill Haslam Insure Tennessee
(Photo: WKRN)

By ERIK SCHELZIG
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Attorney General Herbert Slatery says in a legal opinion that the state would be able to cancel Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to extend health coverage to 200,000 low-income Tennesseans if costs exceed expectations.

Haslam has called a special legislative session next week to take up his Insure Tennessee proposal that would be paid for mostly with federal Medicaid dollars, with state hospitals making up any extra costs.

The governor has stressed the plan would come at no extra costs to the taxpayers, and that the state could drop the program if the finances don’t work out as planned.

Slatery in Tuesday’s opinion cited the 2005 cuts of 170,000 TennCare enrollees as a precedent for removing people from the expanded Medicaid program, but couldn’t say how long it would take.

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