Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mitch Perry Report 1.23.14 - Failing to expand Medicaid to cost Florida businesses big-time

Posted By on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 7:38 AM

Florida Republican leaders have made it darn clear over the past year that they have no desire to expand Medicaid coverage in the Sunshine State, so don't expect any late conversions or concerns following a new report that says that not doing so could cost Florida businesses as much as $253 million a year in tax penalties.

That's because companies with 50 or more employees face IRS penalties if workers get subsidized health insurance through the new exchange under the ACA. But they don’t face a tax penalty if workers get subsidized coverage through Medicaid.

That report comes a day after a Republican legislator, Hialeah-based state Senator Rene Garcia, came forward with a new bill to expand Medicaid in the 2014 session. Don't expect it to go anywhere, however, despite more calls from Chambers of Commerce, Democrats and editorial writers that they should....

Think the Greenlights Pinellas measure on this November's ballot is a shoe-in? Think again. That was the advice Atlanta Tea Party co-founder Debbie Dooley brought to Largo on Tuesday night. Dooley led a completely financially over-matched group of citizens help defeat a major transit initiative in Georgia back in 2012, and she said that fiscal watchdogs can be successful in thwarting the designs of the entire PInellas County establishment later this year.

With the state Legislature holding committee hearings now in advance of the March regular session, activist groups with an agenda are putting out their messages now. That includes environmentalists, who skillfully held news conferences up and down the state of Florida, calling local and state officials to task to make sure to keep Florida's waterways clean.

Officials in Tampa are determined to improve one of the city's most economically challenged areas, Sulphur Springs. Yesterday Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced a city initiative to build 25 new houses on the same plots of land where previous structures were torn down due to blight.

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