Tuesday, May 7, 2013

In Florida the Failure of the State to Support Medicaid Expansion Could Cost Business $146 million a Year

Republicans Say They Support Business – They Just Don’t Act to Support Business

In Florida the state legislature, controlled by Republicans, is leaving town.  They are also leaving billions of dollar of federal health insurance aid on the table as they decided to deny low income workers access to Medicaid, access that would be paid initially by the Federal government and ultimately 90% by the Feds. 

The cost to businesses in the state could be substantial.

Part of the law that remained in place requires businesses with more than 50 full-time employees to provide health insurance coverage to anyone working more than 30 hours a week. Many people in agriculture, tourism and hospitality would have been eligible for an expanded Medicaid program.
But with no Medicaid expansion, those workers must either get health insurance from their employers, or they can turn to a federal health exchange to purchase insurance.
If they use a federal exchange, their bosses will be penalized.
And the fines are steep.

In Florida, about 400,000 people who would have qualified for Medicaid expansion are eligible to purchase insurance on exchanges.

If just one employee goes on the exchange, business owners are required to pay a fine of $2,000 for each of their full-time employees (minus the first 30). In a company of 200, that could translate into a fine of $340,000.

In total, Florida employers could face at least $145.7 million in federal penalties per year, according to tax preparation service Jackson Hewitt.

Of course the major rationale by Republicans is that they do not want health care coverage for the lousy, lazy stinking poor.

Some Republican lawmakers went as far as to characterize childless adults as people who could get insurance, if only they weren't so lazy. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, said the group was too busy playing a Grand Theft Auto video game to get a job. His father, Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, said he had little concern for "somebody who is an adult and chooses to sit on the couch."

And speaking the lazy, no good, shiftless citizens of Florida who sit around and talk and do little of value and get government paid health insurance, we think that more likely describes the Republicans in the Florida legislature. 

If the shoe fits . . . .

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