woman* Marsha Blackburn seems to have gotten out ahead of Gov. Bill Haslam when it comes to whether Tennessee will accept federal funds to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Just after the four-minute mark of her Monday morning appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe, she was asked by former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell whether Haslam would accept the federal money offered to states who decide to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act — a question to which Blackburn gave a matter-of-fact "No."
My colleague Andrea Zelinski asked Haslam's office for a response, and was referred to comments Haslam gave to reporters this morning, during a preview of his State of the State speech tonight. (For more previewing Haslam's speech, see Zelinski's report for The City Paper here.)
"We also will go into detail ... on the impact of Medicaid spending," he said. "Tonight we will not be announcing a decision on Medcaid expansion. We will announce still that, the process of we’re going to continue to work through to get to the right answer. But despite that, I think you’ll see the impact that increased Medicaid costs have had on our budget"
Read that as you will.
*Blackburn's preference for being called "Congressman" as opposed to "Congresswoman" led to an awkwardly amusing introduction on CBS' Face the Nation Sunday morning, where she appeared along with Newt Gingrich. Having struggled to clarify what exactly he should be calling Blackburn, host Bob Schieffer simply went with "Miss Blackburn". Enjoy their exchange below. (If you feel like watching further, the discussion is on guns.)