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Medicaid Expansion Splits TN Gubernatorial Candidates in Health Forum

Wasin Pummarin, 123RF Stock Photo

A health care forum in Tennessee Friday showed a partisan split in the governor's race over Medicaid expansion.

Democrats rank the issue their top priority and Republicans either oppose it or espoused other priorities. The Democrats, ex-Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, called for expansion of Tennessee's program, TennCare. They cited recent rural hospital closures.

Republicans focused elsewhere, such as personal responsibility, wellness education and private sector innovation. House Speaker Beth Harwell noted that TennCare had to shrink in 2005 to control costs. Businessman Bill Lee opposed creating a bigger government program. Ex-Senator Mae Beavers said states should be able to freely manage federal money. Businessman Randy Boyd said the state awaits congressional health care action. U.S. Representative Diane Black didn't attend due to votes in Washington.


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