Haslam, other govs, meet with Trump on Obamacare

Tennessee’s Bill Haslam was among a group of governors meeting with President Trump Monday for a discussion of Obamacare, reports the Associated Press.

“It’s an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,” Trump told the governors.

Haslam unsuccessfully pushed a plan to expand health insurance access to hundreds of thousands of low-income Tennesseans. Haslam’s Insure Tennessee plan would have used funds made available through the Affordable Care Act.

“There was discussion around a couple of topics, including infrastructure, but the discussion was predominantly around health care, and Gov. Haslam was very encouraged by the amount of collaboration between the White House, Congress and governors on this issue,” Haslam spokeswoman Laura Herzog said by email Monday. “He has never seen the White House and Congress listen to governors as much as they are doing now.”

Trump met later Monday morning with health insurance executives, some of whom are worried that the uncertainty over the health care law’s future is spilling into the marketplace.

…A report by the consulting firms Avalere Health and McKinsey & Company presented to the governors during a weekend of meetings with the National Governors Association concluded that the changes under consideration by the GOP-led House would reduce significantly federal funding for Medicaid and subsidize private insurance, creating funding gaps for states and threatening a loss of coverage for many participants.

Without offering specific details about what he wants in a replacement package, Trump said the current health insurance market is “going to absolutely implode” and called on the executives to work with the government on a way forward.

“We must work together to save Americans from Obamacare,” he said.

A group of Republican governors said after the meeting that Trump would provide details of his repeal and replace plan in his address to Congress on Tuesday night. They declined to offer specifics in deference to the president.

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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