Insure Tennessee Referendum Bill Defeated

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A proposal to place Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal before the voters in November has been defeated in a House subcommittee.

The House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee voted Wednesday to study the bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley after the General Assembly adjourns.

Haslam last year proposed extending health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans. The Tennessee Hospital Association had pledged to cover the entire $74 million state share of the program to draw down $2.8 billion in federal Medicaid funds over two years.

But Republican lawmakers rejected Haslam’s plan last year amid fears that it was too closely linked to President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

Haslam wants to wait and see who the next president is before deciding how to proceed.

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