The less-discussed portion of Thursday's Supreme Court ruling: that the feds can't force the state to expand Medicare (or, in Tennessee, TennCare) coverage.
Though cautioning that they still need to fully review the ramifications of the Supreme Court decision, Haslam and Emkes said Thursday it appears the prospective mandate, which Emkes had estimated would run $200 million per year or more, will not materialize.
"What was unanticipated is the section of the opinion that says states cannot be forced to expand their Medicaid program. This particular portion of the ruling is significant, but it is premature to know the exact ramifications," the governor said in a statement.
Emkes said in an interview that, while the decision is still being analyzed, "We do feel a little bit better about the fact we're going to have more control over the Medicaid piece."