Johnson City

Chambers of commerce supports Medicaid expansion

Wrote letter to state lawmakers

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Some local chambers of commerce in Tennessee are encouraging state lawmakers to support the Affordable Health Care Act's Medicaid expansion.

Gary Mabrey, the president and CEO of the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce, wrote a letter last week to Governor Bill Haslam, Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell.

Mabrey said the state needs to make the legislation work in Tennessee because this is an issue that effects businesses, including Mountain State Health Alliance and Wellmont hospitals in east Tennessee. "We decided we aught to engage in this conversation because it is very important to our economy, it's important for our health. Let's face it: those two hospitals are magnets for our economic and community development," he said.

If Tennessee doesn't decide to embrace the expansion, it would cost the two hospitals an estimated $680 million over the next 10 years.

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