While the Affordable Care Act is still six months away from being fully implemented, employers are looking at healthcare by the numbers - namely 49 and 29, according to the Ocala Star Banner. (Editor’s note: Readers may encounter paywall.)
Although two Republican representatives from Manatee County revived hope that Medicaid expansion, or something similar, may not be dead in Florida, there’s still no sign of a special session where they could work out a deal. As the Tampa Bay Times reports, there’s been no change since lawmakers ended the session without expanding healthcare to more low-income Floridians.
Palm Beach State College plans to cut the hours of nearly 1,000 employees to avoid paying for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The move affects 895 adjunct faculty members and more than 100 other part-time employees, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Earlier this year, both Govs. Jan Brewer of Arizona and Rick Scott of Florida surprised political pundits by coming out in support of Medicaid expansion. Both Republican governors had been fierce critics of the Affordable Care Act, but they said they favored the expansion because it would hurt the people of their state to turn down federal funds.
But the outcomes were quite different. Brewer muscled it through the Arizona Legislature, winning victory on Thursday after months of uncertainty and bare-knuckle politics.
On June 22, consumer-health groups across the nation will launch what they hope will be a massive education and enrollment campaign to find uninsured people and get them ready to sign up for health coverage.
Thanks to the Rand Corporation, there is now an unquestionably unbiased report that shows the devastating results of states' refusal to expand Medicaid, Florida health-policy consultant Paul Gionfriddo writes at his blog Our Health Policy Matters.
The Rand authors studied 14 states that refused to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid to those under 100 percent of the poverty level because those states are dominated by Republicans who don't like the Affordable Care Act.
While some employers have suggested they may cut hours of part-timers to keep from having to provide health benefits under the Affordable Care Act, a convenience store chain is marching in the opposite direction. Cumberland Farms, based in Massachusetts, is expanding eligibility for employer-sponsored health insurance to 1,500 more employees, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
While Florida lawmakers rejected Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act during the session, some Republicans in the House are now saying the issue could be possible before the end of the year, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports. State Rep. Jim Boyd of Bradenton and state Rep. Greg Steube of Sarasota, told the Sarasota Tiger Bay Club on Thursday they think there’s a possibility the state could still draw down federal funds before Jan. 1.
Last month, state lawmakers ended their 2013 session without taking action on Medicaid expansion, leaving $51 billion dollars in federal funds on the table. That inaction could cost both taxpayers and employers a bundle, as a new report shows.