Bill calling for referendum on Insure Tennessee defeated

Governor Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee plan was defeated twice in legislative session this year but that doesn't mean supporters of the bill have given up hope. Activists like Pam Weston are still fighting for the 280,000 Tennesseans’ without health insurance.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – 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.

Previous story: Tennessee state lawmakers resume session; Insure Tennessee supporters rally

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.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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