Haslam upbeat, but concerned, about federal Medicaid plan

THE TENNESSEE JOURNAL

March 17, 2017 (Vol. 43, No. 11) — State officials expressed optimism this week that the health care reform initiative in Congress will ultimately benefit the $11.6 billion TennCare program. But they sounded worried — and they’ll likely stay that way until final details are known.

The new funding model in the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the plan GOP leaders in the U.S. House unveiled March 6, is a per capita cap — intended both to rein in federal costs and give states more flexibility.

A potential problem for Tennessee is that the baseline is fiscal 2016, which the Sycamore Institute, in a newly published analysis, describes in the context of a 10-year comparison as “a relatively low-cost year” per enrollee when adjusted for inflation.

Sycamore pegged the range of potential budgetary impact on Tennessee over the next 10 years from a negative $2.6 billion to a positive $460 million. TennCare says it doesn’t have enough details to make a calculation.

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