Thursday, March 28, 2013

Will Hospitals Close Because of Medicaid Non-Decision? Ramsey Shrugs It Off

Posted By on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Will Tennessee's refusal to expand the state's Medicaid program cause some hospitals to close? Senate speaker Ron Ramsey says so what?

"There may be hospitals that will have to close. But look, if you want to operate in a free market, things like that happen," Ramsey told reporters today.

Ramsey also defended Gov. Bill Haslam's decision, repeating the Republican refrain that it's all the Obama administration's fault. That damn irrational Washington won't give Tennessee billions of dollars with no strings attached! Imagine that. But if the feds will surrender all that cash, then let Republicans decide how to spend it, our supermajority would deign to take that money, Ramsey says.

"Governor Haslam made a thoughtful decision that left the door at least cracked," Ramey said. If the Obama administration "will at least talk to us, give us the opportunity to think outside the box, work with the money with no strings attached; we’re ready to do it."

"There are lots of us who would love to be able to take this money to buy private insurance and have the Medicaid population have to have the same restrictions and requirements that the commercial people have. That is co-pays. That is limiting doctor visits. That is requiring annual physicals. That is some form of wellness that you’re showing some form of responsibility and on and on and on that anyone who has commercial insurance has to do. If it was truly outside the box and allowed us to have that flexibility, then yes we’d be ready to do that."

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