Haslam: If Insure TN Was Obamacare It Wouldn’t Have Taken 2 Years

Letter from Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; January 30, 2015:

Reaching Our Full Potential

On January 17, I was honored to be sworn in for my second term as governor. I see this job as being part of a historically significant relay race. I was handed the baton four years ago, and it’s my job to be intentional about advancing that baton during my eight years in office and handing it off to the next governor in a better position than it was handed to me.

One thing I can guarantee you that we are not going to do in the next four years is coast to the finish line. The decisions that we make are too important to the 6.5 million Tennesseans who are alive today and even more important for the generations that will follow us.

You can click here to read my inaugural address and here to see footage from the day.

Insure Tennessee

On Monday, the General Assembly will begin a special session to consider Insure Tennessee, a two-year pilot program to provide market-based health insurance coverage to more than 250,000 Tennesseans currently without access at no additional cost to taxpayers. Over the past two weeks, I’ve been visiting with legislators and providers across the state to discuss the plan, to talk about why it is so important to our state, and to answer questions and address concerns.

I believe the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) was bad for this country. It only addressed coverage for more people without doing the more difficult and important work of addressing cost.

Insure Tennessee is not Obamacare.  It wouldn’t have taken us nearly two years to negotiate with Washington to get the concessions we have if it was. This is a Tennessee-specific alternative to traditional Medicaid expansion that promotes better health outcomes and helps us control health care costs, which as an American I see as one of the biggest challenges our country faces. Doing nothing is not an option. Our approach is a critical first step to fundamentally changing health care in Tennessee.

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I hope 2015 is off to a great start for you and your family. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this issue or anything else that’s on your mind.

Best,
Bill

Click here to see the 2014 timeline, highlights from our fourth year in office.