HHS Secretary Speaks With WREG As Obamacare Deadline Approaches

(Memphis) With the deadline to sign up for the Affordable Care Act less than three weeks away, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke with News Channel 3 about the final push to get people to enroll for the Affordable Care Act.

During that final push, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is in active talks with the Obama Administration to come up with a plan about what to do with Medicaid funds from the federal government.

More than $6 million a day could be coming into Tennessee in the form of Medicaid from the federal government, but Gov. Haslam is walking a fine line between the Obama Administration and his own Republican legislature to come up with a compromise.

“I’ve had a number of really productive conversations with Governor Haslam, and I think he’s trying to figure out what works for Tennessee,” said Sebelius.

Sebelius said Haslam doesn’t want classic Medicaid expansion and is looking at some other options that other states have put into place that work uniquely in that state.

She also said her office is working with him to come up with a compromise that’s best for the state of Tennessee.

But Sebelius may have bigger problems.

According to enrollment reports, millions of people who could sign up for the Affordable Care Act haven’t.

Actually, only about 10 percent of eligible citizens have, and many in Memphis are finding they can just make out better by paying the yearly fine as opposed to signing up.

Sebelius isn’t worried, and doesn’t think the numbers are bad because she expects people are waiting until the last-minute to sign up.

“Every day we are seeing a surge of enrollment and what we’re finding is that people don’t know financial help is available and we want to make sure people know that.”

In Memphis alone there are 140,000 uninsured, and Sebelius says there is no deadline to come up with a plan for the Medicaid money, although the deadline to enroll for the affordable care act is March 31st.

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