Gov. Bredesen: Health care reform not exactly what doctor ordered

Gov. Bredesen: Health care reform not exactly what doctor ordered

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"It wasn't exactly what I was hoping would come out of it, but I accept we had a vote," Gov. Phil Bredesen said. "It wasn't exactly what I was hoping would come out of it, but I accept we had a vote," Gov. Phil Bredesen said.

By ANN KEIL
6 News Reporter

OAK RIDGE (WATE) - The health care reform changes could mean an additional 250,000 Tennesseans would be covered by the expanded Medicaid program over the first five years of implementation.

Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen weighed in on that possibility Tuesday.

"There are a lot of people in this country that don't have access to the medical care system, don't have full access to it, and to the extent which this opens that up, I think it's a very good thing," said Gov. Bredesen.

Still, the governor says the expansion of TennCare will mean some real challenges for Tennessee. He points out that it's expected to cost the state $1.1 billion over the next few years.

"It wasn't exactly what I was hoping would come out of it, but I accept we had a vote. This is the way democracy works, and we're going to make it work," Bredesen said.

Attorneys general from thirteen states have filed suit to block the new health care law, calling it unconstitutional. Gov. Bredesen says that's a legitimate issue, but also an uphill battle.

"Even if we don't join, if that's shown to be constitutional, Tennessee benefits. So the frugal part of me says fine, let someone else pay for this challenge," Bredesen said. 

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