Tennessee will not run its own health care exchange, Gov. Bill Haslam announced Monday.
Three weeks after being granted an extension and less than a week before a federally mandated deadline, the governor's office issued a statement indicating his decision to leave responsibility for creating and implementing an online clearinghouse for health insurance purchases in the hands of federal administrators, rather than state officials.
Although he maintained his position that Tennessee could run an exchange cheaper and more efficiently, the governor said he was led to his decision in part by not having a clear enough picture from the federal government as to what the state's role in maintaining a health care exchange would look like.
"The Obama administration has set an aggressive timeline to implement exchanges, while there is still a lot of uncertainty about how the process will work," Haslam said. "What has concerned me more and more is that they seem to be making this up as they go. In weighing all of the information we currently have, I informed the federal government today that Tennessee will not run a state-based exchange."
Haslam did not rule out Tennessee opting to facilitate a health care exchange in the future.
The announcement came after the governor had indicated on several occasions that he had been leaning toward the idea of a state-run exchange.
Nooga.com will have updates on this story as they become available.