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Senate leader calls Medicaid talks waste of time

Senate leader calls Medicaid talks waste of time

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says he would be against an effort to expand Medicaid even if fellow Republican Gov. Bill Haslam successfully negotiated a special deal for Tennessee.

Ramsey told reporters Monday that the troubled rollout of the federal health insurance exchanges since Oct. 1 has firmed up his view that the state should not accept federal dollars to cover more uninsured people.

The online insurance marketplaces and the Medicaid expansions are part of President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Ramsey said his preference would be to wait as long as two years before deciding how to proceed. Asked whether the governor’s ongoing negotiations were futile, Ramsey said: “As of Oct. 1, yes, I think he’s wasting his time.”

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