Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell now says "there is some justification financially" to expanding Medicaid. No kidding. Not to mention helping hundreds of thousands of uninsured. Jeff Woods reports...

Rachel's picture

This is good news. Maybe she

This is good news. Maybe she & Haslam can make the legislature see that expaning Medicaid is the fiscally CONSERVATIVE thing to do.

Somebody's picture

Holy crap. There is hope

Holy crap. There is hope after all.

Harwell said: “My first-blush reaction is that I’m not in favor of expansion. However, when you look at the numbers there is some justification financially as to why we might want to expand it.”

Translated, the first sentence is an obligatory nod to the wingnuts, and the second sentence is an acknowledgement of reality and affirmation that she will support the expansion.

If you want to read between the lines, this likely means that the Governor is also preparing to come out in support of the expansion.

The wingnuts in the legislature will still go hogwild, but this at least suggests that a coalition of the sane may be brewing.

stalwartdem's picture

wait a minute..

the posted article is OLD NEWS (nov 9). read today's KNS.

EricLykins's picture

True. (link...)

True. (link...)

Somebody's picture

It's only old news because

It's only old news because the thread was started on November 9th as well. It was new news back then!

Rachel's picture

I think the conventional

I think the conventional wisdom all along was that when push came to shove most states would opt-in to the expansion. Not only does it make good fiscal sense for them and insure a bunch more people, the hospitals are pushing for it.

The main argument against it is "we hate Obamacare." Legislators might think that's enough, but Governors can't.

We shall see what happens in Tennessee. It should be interesting.

EricLykins's picture


Jeff Woods:

Some justification financially? No kidding. A $7 billion federal windfall and the creation of 30,000 jobs in the health care field in this state. Hospitals no longer left holding the bag for uncompensated care. That's some justification financially. This isn't news. It's all in a University of Memphis study that came out months ago. Too bad we had to wait until after the election for the speaker finally to stop ignoring the facts.

No. That University of Memphis study cites the Association of American Medical Colleges:

the reform proposal will require 29,800 more primary care physicians in the nation by the end of 2015

and estimates

requiring 194 new primary care physicians to raise the current physician workforce level to “adequate” in the 44 of 95 counties in Tennessee that are rated as currently having inadequate or marginal supplies.

EricLykins's picture

That's not to say there

That's not to say there wouldn't be a load of health care jobs in general created, the report just doesn't try to estimate that, that I see. A similar report in Missouri estimates 14,920 jobs created the first year.

EricLykins's picture

But this isn't a jobs bill.

But this isn't a jobs bill.

The important question of this season deals with Medicaid expansion vs. Disproportionate Share Payment reductions which begins on page 36.

The overall impact of the reform law on hospital finances is complex and depends upon the balance between forces that will increase and decrease revenues.

State roundup.

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